Into the world of Aikido martial arts

Into the world of Aikido martial arts

With the visible convergence of East and West cultures, more and more people are discovering and rediscovering new means self-discipline especially in the field of martial arts. One of these means is called “Aikido,” a very popular Japanese martial art.


“Do not fight force with force,” this is the most basic principle of Aikido. Considered as one of the non-aggressive styles in martial arts, Aikido has become popular because it doesn’t instigate or provoke any attack. Instead, the force of the attacker is redirected into throws, locks, and several restraining techniques.
Since aikido uses very few punches and kicks, the size, weight, age, and physical strength of the participants or the opponents only partake only a small role. What’s important is the skilled Aikido practitioner is skilled enough to redirect his or her attacker’s energy while keeping him or her in a constant of unbalance.

The history of Aikido as a martial art can be traced when Morihei Ueshiba discovered and developed its principle of aikido. Known as “O Sensei” or the “Great Teacher,” Ueshiba made sure to develop a martial art that is based on a purely physical level using movements like throws, joint locks and techniques derived from another martial arts like “Jujitsu” and “Kenjutsu.”

Technically, aikido was stemmed out and developed mainly from “daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu” while incorporating several training movements similar to the “yari” or “spear, “jo” or a short “quarterstaff” and from “juken” or “bayonet”. Although these jujitsu movements are prominent while practicing the martial art, many practitioners agree that strongest influences of aikido is that of kenjutsu.

When he finally developed the minor and major principles of Aikido, Ueshiba emphasized that the martial art does not only pertain to self-defense techniques but can also play a major role in the enhancement of the practitioner’s moral and spiritual aspects eventually leading them to place greater weight on the development and achievement of peace and harmony. In fact, because of the great emphasis in the development of harmony and peace, seasoned aikido practitioners say that “the way of harmony of the spirit” is one phrase that could describe or translate the term “aikido” in English.

Just like any other martial art, aikido has various techniques that include ikkyo or the “first technique,” “nikyo” or the “second technique,” “sankyo,” or the “third technique,” “yonkyo” or the “fourth technique,” the “gokyo” or the “fifth technique,” the “shihonage” or the “four-direction throw,” the “kotegaeshi” or the wrist return, “kokyunage” or the “breath throw,” “iriminage” or the entering-body throw, “tenchinage” or the “heaven-and-earth throw,” “koshinage,” or the “hip throw,” “jujinage” or the “shaped-like-‘ten’-throw,” and the “kaitennage” or the rotation throw.”

Although aikido is not about punching or kicking the opponent, it is not considered as a static art. It is still a very effective means of martial arts because it requires the aikido practitioner to use the energy of their opponent so they can gain control over them. When you will look at the martial art closely, you will realize that aikido is not only a means of self-defense technique but can also serve a means of spiritual enlightenment, physical health or exercise or a simple means of attaining peace of mind, concentration, and serenity.

Although different aikido styles gives great emphasis on the spiritual aspects to varying levels—some to greater or lesser degrees—the idea that the martial arts was conceptualized in order to achieve peace and harmony remains the most basic ideology of the martial art.

The Art of Aikido

The Art of Aikido

Martial Arts is one of the contributions of Asia to the world. Who can forget Bruce Lee and the fact that he was first and foremost a martial arts athlete before being a movie star? Even until now martial arts is still a big hit with the increasing popularity of Asian movies like crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and more recently the House of the Flying Daggers.

The Chinese are the first people that come to mind when it comes to these things but the Japanese are just as athletic with a rich heritage of body contact sports that can be found in their history. The modern Japan still gives honor to these things by holding tournaments and promoting such sports abroad,

One of these is Aikido. It is interesting to note that the word comes from three Japanese words from which one can derive the meaning of the one word. Ai means joining, Ki means spirit and Do means way. From this we can understand why Aikido is beyond just the physical skills of it students especially sin its proponent Ueshiba focused more on the spiritual and philosophical development of his students.

In Aikido, one is not taught violence instead one is taught to be in harmony with the opponent to be able to defeat. This might seem odd but it actually works. In approaching an opponent, the aim of the Aikido practitioner is to be one with the opponent to be able to attack him where he is weakest and in doing so diver or immobilize him but never to kill.

This is where Aikido becomes an art. Art is something beautiful to watch and something positive and Aikido is all that. At least one of the people involved in the fighting strives for harmony and harmony can only be achieved if there is grace in the movements. The moves maybe calculated but there is an air of finesse in doing these movements, not a womanly finesse but just a finesse that emanates peace. The art of peace as what they call in Aikido is one of the most positive influences of Aikido to its students and to everyone who choose to know about this Japanese martial art.

Some of the techniques in Aikido include the following. Ikkyo is the first technique. Using this technique you control an opponent by using one hand in holding the elbow and one near the wrist, this action is supposed to make you pin your opponent down in the ground. Nikyo the second technique is when you do an adductive wristlock that enables you to twist the arm of your opponent that will in turn cause enough nerve pressure.

The third technique is Sankyo which is a pronating technique that directs upward-spiraling tension throughout the arm, elbow and shoulder. There are many other techniques but the first three should get you started.

In studying Aikido, it is important to remember that along with building physical strength to be able to defeat your opponent the mental capacity should also be developed. Just like in any art, it takes a lot of practice and discipline to perfect the art of Aikido. The important thing is the one who wants to get into the art should have determination to give honor to the art by performing it in the best way possible.

Knowing the basics of Aikido

Knowing the basics of Aikido

Aikido is one of the oldest form of martial arts. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba, aikido came about through the studies of many different kinds of traditional martial arts. In fact, is often perceived as a form of exercise or a dance because of some of its forms. It is also viewed by some quarters as some form of martial mesmerism.

Aikido is even confused with Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, it is different in its essence. Still, its founder attributed his creation of aikido to the way, his master Sokaku Takeda, grandmaster of Daito Ryu, opened his eyes to the nature of Budo.

What is aikido?

Despite its many perceived forms, aikido is a Budo or martial arts. It is the refinement of the techniques that are being taught in traditional martial arts and is combined with a philosophy that calls on for the power of the spirit. In its essence, it is a blending of the body and the mind.

Its philosophy is basically derived from the belief that deceptions and trickery or brute force will not make us defeat our opponents. Instead, concentration that involves the spirit will be enough to strengthen us.

Aikido is also used as a way to discover our true paths so that we can develop our individuality. It also teaches its practitioners to unify their body and their mind so that they will become in harmony with the “universe” and with nature. Their power and their strength will come from this balance and harmony.

The word “universe” in aikido is not some obscure concept that one cannot achieve. It is actually quite concrete and is even within the grasp of the person. In aikido, “universe” can be achieved through actual experiences and everyday life.

Aikido’s movements and techniques are circular. When a circle is created in aikido, the person is said to be protected from a collision from an opposing force. A firm center, however, is needed to create this circle. An example of a firm circle is a spinning top that turns at fast speed. Without a firm center, the speed of movement will only create imbalance. The stillness of the spinning top while in speeding motion is what is called sumikiri in Aikido language. This is achieved only by what Aikido founder calls “total clarity of mind and body.” However, this is not so easily achieved. It takes a long time of study and practice in order to find this intense concentration and centeredness.

Training is important in aikido as well as concentration because while it may be easy to create a centered being when inside a martial arts gym, the same cannot be said of situations and circumstances outside. It will not be easy to keep one’s composure when faced with extraordinary circumstances. This is actually one of the goals of Aikido training. It aims to teach its practitioners to maintain their composure and their centeredness even in panic situations such as danger and calamities.

One method taught in aikido is to breathe with what is called the seika tanden point. This is the part of the body that can be found two inches below the navel. Controlled breathing is one key to being one with the universe and to center oneself with nature. When a person learns to do this, he or she will feel extraordinary calmness that they can use in the practice of aikido.