Aikido - General Background

By: Thanaseelan

History:

Aikido in its present form is a relatively recent innovation within the martial arts tradition. It was developed in Japan in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969), who was introduced to the classical martial arts as a boy by his father, Yoroku. He is known to have studied some martial arts, such as various styles of Ju-jitsu as well as Kenjutsu and the art of the spear.

Philosophy:

If we are attacked by a force and we apply force ourselves, a collision of energies ensues which results in disharmony. Thus, accordingly the stronger force wins. If, however, we meet the force with an absorbing movement and then exhaust it to the point of imbalance before applying a force of our own (the Aikido way), we are in fact restoring harmony or redressing an imbalance. This is the basic logic and underlying philosophy of Aikido.

Training:

Aikido is a discipline that seeks not to meet violence with violence, but instead looks towards harmonising with and restraining and opponent. Aikido is, in many ways, unique among the martial arts, in that the majority of techniques are based on the aggressor making the first move.

Therefore, Aikido techniques are usually aimed at joint immobilisation and throws which utilise an opponent's energy, momentum and aggression. Many body movements have been taken from Japanese sword and spear fighting arts, and the use of the bokken (a replica sword) and jo (a stick) is intended to build the practitioner's understanding and skill.

Aikido teaches one-on-one and multiple attack defence. It incorporates knife-taking, sword-taking and stick-taking, and even defence from a kneeling position. Differences in size, weight, strength or age negated as we learn to use our inner ki (flow of energy). Weapon training with a bokken and jo indicates the ancestry of the discipline as well as helping to improve our body movements.

It should be emphasised that Aikido is a budo (literally a martial way). We practise each technique with total commitment, as if our life depended on its success, for only in this way is it possible to bring about the true spirit of budo. This is not to say that training has to be hard or violent. It is possible to be physically soft and still generate the power to control a confrontational encounter.

Styles of Aikido:

In reality, there are several major styles of Aikido today. As Ueshiba was continually refining and modifying the art he had created, some of his students at various stages left to pursue their own ideals. Thus, Master Gozo Shioda created the yoshinkan style, characterised by short and sharp movements and powerful joint applications; Kenji Tomiki developed sport Aikido, as it is widely known, characterised by competitions in which rubber knives are used; Minoru Mochizuki successfully amalgamated Aikido with other martial arts within the International Martial Arts Federation; and Koichi Tohei created shin-shin toitsu AikidoFind Article, which concentrates on the ki aspect of Aikido. All of these men trained with and listened to Ueshiba and yet each came away with a different idea of the discipline.

Martial Arts
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Martial Arts
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles