about Aikido

Aikido is a tra­di­tional Japan­ese mar­tial art the mod­ern form of which was founded in 1925 by Mas­ter Mori­hei Ueshiba (O’Sensei). The tech­niques that form the basis of mod­ern Aikido are derived from cen­turies old tac­tics devel­oped by Samu­rai war­riors. It has evolved in the his­toric tra­di­tion of Japan­ese war­rior arts, but is more than just a sci­ence of tac­tics and self-defense; it is a dis­ci­pline for per­fect­ing the spirit. The Japan­ese word Ai-ki-do con­sists of three Kanji char­ac­ters which can be trans­lated as “the way of unity with the fun­da­men­tal force of the uni­verse”. Aikido prac­ti­tion­ers train to inte­grate their body, mind and spirit through har­mo­nious prac­tice of basic prin­ci­ples. Aikido teaches us to be aware of our sur­round­ings and to use our bod­ies to move with phys­i­cal con­fronta­tion instead of against it.

Aikido is a true Budo or “Mar­tial Way”. The essence of all Aikido tech­nique is the use of total body move­ments to cre­ate spher­i­cal motion around a sta­ble, ener­gized cen­ter. Even when a tech­nique appears to be using only one part of the body, close obser­va­tion reveals the Aikidoist’s move­ments are, in fact, whole body movements.

Aikido is a purely defen­sive mar­tial art. Rather than meet­ing vio­lence with rec­i­p­ro­cal vio­lence, the Aiki­doist learns to evade and redi­rect the power of the attack, result­ing in the attacker being unbal­anced and either pro­jected (thrown) or immo­bi­lized. The results are achieved through pre­cise use of lever­age, iner­tia, grav­ity, and the action of cen­trifu­gal and cen­tripetal forces. Inevitably, it is the attacker’s own force and momen­tum that neu­tral­ize his aggres­sion. Because of this prin­ci­ple of “active non-resistance”, Aikido can be effec­tively per­formed even against larger, stronger attack­ers. At the higher lev­els of the art, it is equally effec­tive against mul­ti­ple attackers.

Aikido is not a sport or a game. There are no tour­na­ments or com­pe­ti­tions. Rather, prac­tice is con­ducted in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation. Aikido has been proven to be an effec­tive means of self defense and its’ tech­niques form the basis of many police “con­trol and restraint” tac­tics. It is also dis­tin­guished by a highly devel­oped moral code which seeks to pro­tect the assailant while simul­ta­ne­ously neu­tral­iz­ing his will and abil­ity to attack. Beyond being merely a form of self pro­tec­tion, Aikido is a method of per­sonal devel­op­ment that teaches the prac­ti­tioner bal­ance and char­ac­ter, which enhance all aspects of daily life.

Most prac­tice is done with a part­ner. Each works at his or her own level of abil­ity, alter­nat­ing as Uke (the attacker), and Nage (the one who receives the attack). Both roles are stressed as each con­tributes skills that enhance over­all sen­si­tiv­ity and con­trol. Prac­tice is non-competitive with part­ners work­ing in a coop­er­a­tive man­ner to encour­age their mutual phys­i­cal, men­tal and spir­i­tual growth.