Thanks to its principles and related philosophy, Aikido acts not only as a martial art, but also as a basic attitude towards daily life. Aikido aims not only to teach practitioners self-defense skills, but also to help them develop spiritually. Seven virtues play an important role in this

The most important in advance

  • Aikido is a peaceful martial art.
  • The goal is not to destroy the attacker.
  • Aikido promotes the development of the body and the mind.
  • The techniques have a close connection to the code of the Samurai

History and background

Ueshiba Morihei is considered the founding father of the Japanese martial art called Aikidō. He developed the popular martial art from various sports in the early 20th century. Daitō-Ryū Aiki-Jūjutsu acted as an essential foundation. Aikidōka is the name given to those who regularly attend an Aikidō school.

Thanks to his training with his spiritual mentor Takeda Sōkaku, he was able to create the weaponless martial art. Before developing Aikidō, he was a student of various martial arts. These likewise included sophisticated lance and sword training. His goal was to develop a unique way of harmony. This is the correct translation of this Japanese martial art. Ai stands for harmony as well as adjustment, Ki symbolizes the spirit as well as consciousness and Do gives the terms way or philosophy.

Tokyo acts as an important founding place of the Honbu Dōjō of Aikidōs. The correct translation of the former two terms is practice hall. From there began the international spread of the Way of Harmony.

  • in 1951, Aikidōs found its way to Europe thanks to Master Mochizuki Minoru. France became the first European country to enjoy an Aikidō dojo. Already in the following year, Master Tadashi Abe continued with the spreading. His chosen city was Marseille, also located in France. Tōhei Kōichi introduced Aikidō to Hawaii in 1953.
  • André Nocquet was an enthusiastic Akidoka. For this reason, he set out for Tokyo in 1956 . There he wanted to expand his knowledge and skills in the cradle of the Way of Harmony.
  • Since France enthusiastically received all the masters from Japan, Masamichi Noro went to Paris in 1961 to promote the spread of aikido with his comrade Nobuyoshi Tamura. They had trained with the founding father. Hiroshi Tada chose Italy as the country of dissemination.
  • Masatomi Ikeda went to Switzerland to teach. Yasunari Kitaura chose Spain, whereas Kazuo Chiba chose the United Kingdom to teach. From 1960 , ambitious students of Ueshiba start the international spread of Aikido.
  • in 1965, en student chose Australia. in 1960 the first Aikido school opened in Germany. In the seventies the martial art spread in Austria. In the meantime, there is an Aikido dojo in almost every country in the world
  • Since 1975 the International Aikido Federation exists. Its abbreviation is I.A.F.
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Features of Aikido

Aikido scores with its characteristic of peaceful martial art. As a rule, the aikidoka is eager to finish a fight, but without hurting his opponent. The goal is to calm the attacker with the help of a suitable technique. In this way, the latter benefits from the possibility of showing insight. However, an aikidoka is very capable of inflicting physical harm on an aggressor. He can also kill him in the worst case.

Ueshiba formulated statements that confirm the peaceful approach of aikido. He coined the phrases that the goal is to defeat the aggressor on a mental level. By doing so, the latter ends his attack. Self-defense was one of the reasons why Ueshiba founded Aikido. It was about making the opponent change his mind in a gentle way

Who is Aikido suitable for?

The exercises promote both flexibility and physical fitness. Especially the falling exercises have a positive effect on the former. Those who go to the dojo on a regular basis also improve their stamina.

Beginners who have never practiced such a sport can also try this martial art. There are no obstacles that make it difficult for them to get started in Aikido. Only the will and discipline are necessary qualities. Thanks to the program, the aikidoka experience a gradual approach to the techniques. The complexity grows with the experience and training duration of the trainee.

The age also plays a subordinate role. It is never too late to start with Aikido. The only thing that matters is the desire and motivation to learn a new martial art.

Training and Techniques

The techniques of Aikido are characterized by numerous features

  • Aikidoka direct the attack power of their opponent. This prevents the opponent from continuing his attack. Aikido is characterized by throwing and holding techniques
  • Since this martial art aims at peaceful conflict resolution, aikidoka do not counterattack at all. Instead, they assume the more favorable position. This allows them to always have the aggressor under control. They accomplish this with the help of permanent physical contact.
  • Defense and attack techniques result from a variety of standardized aikido techniques. They require a special execution, which originate from a certain form. The longer an aikidoka trains, the more free forms of practice are added. These include Jiyu-waza and the Ranodori. The latter also exists in Judo and stands for the duel.
  • Aikido nevertheless enjoys the reputation of a complex martial arts system. It includes armed as well as unarmed techniques. These enable a successful defense against one as well as several attackers.
  • In addition, aikido is directly related to the tradition of samurai fighters. It focuses on learning discipline. It also promotes respectful and ethical behavior. Finally, Aikido trains the mind.
  • The movements of Aikido are also derived from sword fighting. Ueshiba studied numerous other martial arts, which served as inspiration for the foundation of his martial art. He used the strategy and tactics of sword fighting to develop effective techniques for self-defense.

Equipment in Aikido

Training in Aikido is predominantly without the use of weapons. However, three wooden weapons are used. They are composed of the following three objects:

Since the movements of aikido originate from numerous stick and sword techniques, these three weapons are an elementary part of the training. However, thanks to this equipment, the aikidoka understand the unarmed movements better. They are able to internalize them more easily.

Aikidoka usually wear a white gi. The suit resembles a judo kimono and is characterized by a medium thickness. The outer garment is tear-resistant. Japanese call the suits “keiko-gi.”

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Traditional Trouser Skirt Hakama

Masters, on the other hand, wear the familiar culottes. Its Japanese name is Hakama. On the one hand, it serves to effectively protect the legs in combat, and on the other hand, it conceals the exact position of the feet. After all, the feet were considered an important indicator of the opponent’s next move. Rivals could so, conclusions on a following attack as well as an upcoming defense technique conclude.

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Furthermore, the seven folds of the hakama stand for the following virtues:

  • Goodness represents Jin
  • Justice and honor are reflected by Gi
  • Politeness and etiquette are expressed by Rei
  • Wisdom and intelligence are expressed by Chi in Aikido
  • Sincerity is called Shin in Japanese
  • Loyalty is Chu
  • Reverence stands for Koh

Aikidoka benefit technically from better leg movements thanks to the Hakama. Centeredness allows for fluid movements.

Obi is the name of the belt in Aikido. The entry begins with a graduation system. The 5th kyu represents the beginning. Kyu number two, on the other hand, allows the trainees to wear the culottes. By doing so, they signal their maturity of having progressed beyond the level of a beginner. Dan holders wear the black belt together with the hakama.

Update: 2023-01-20 / Affiliate Links / Bilder von der Amazon Product Advertising API