Aikido: The Japanese Martial Art of Peace
The true Japanese warrior should be a model of integrity, courage, loyalty, and mercy. Therefore, Japanese martial arts are practiced as more than a method of fighting. Influenced by this philosophy, Aikido emphasis on spiritual enlightenment and physical health. Most people regarded it as a path to require self-development and peace of mind.
What is Aikido?
The name aikido consists of three parts: “ai” means harmony or unifying, “ki” means energy or spirit, and “do” means way or path. Therefore, aikido can be interpreted as a way of combining forces or the way of unifying energy. It emphasizes a martial art principle that one should understand the rhythm and intent of the attackers and then control their actions with minimal effort.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba, who is called Osensei (the great teacher). He wanted to create a martial art that one could use to defend themselves from injuries and attacks. Therefore, the primary goal of aikido is to develop oneself instead of cultivating violence. Its main principles are harmony with nature and world peace.
Aikido is a comprehensive martial art based on taijutsu, jujutsu, swordplay, jojutsu, and so forth. The three main weapons used in aikido are the jo (staff), tanto (knife), and bokken (sword). The belief of aikido is that something small can defeat something bigger than itself through the rational use of the body.
History of Aikido
Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba during the late 1920s. He has studied Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu from Takeda Sokaku, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu from Tozawa Tokusaburo, Gotoha Yagyu Shingan-ryu from Nakai Masakatsu, and judo from Kiyoichi Takagi. Daito-ryu is the primary technical influence on aikido. Ueshiba synthesized all the martial arts he has learned and developed aikido.
The technique of aikido is mainly based on Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu. Ueshiba continued his official association with Daito-ryu until 1937, and then he began to distance himself from it. At that time, aikido was known as "Aiki Budo”. In 1942, Aikido became the official name of the art in Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society.
Before the war, aikido had only been taught to the wealthy class. It was not until the war that aikido began to be disclosed to the public and gained many students. During the war, Morihei was requested to teach aikido in Japanese army schools, which strongly influenced the techniques of the combat skill of the Self-Defense Forces and taihojutsu (techniques for arresting criminals) after the war.
Later, aikido was developed in many schools by Ueshiba's students. The earliest schools that emerged were Yoseikan Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido, and Shodokan Aikido. After Ueshiba died in 1969, two other schools emerged. Today, the major schools of aikido are run by a separate governing organization and are taught throughout the world.
Details about Aikido
Aiki refers to the martial tactic that controls your opponent efficiently without wasting energy. It is believed that one can beat any opponent regardless of body build, age or gender by mastering this. Yakusoku kumite (prearranged fighting) is used to train this skill. It is trained in pairs: the tori (attacker) and the uke (defender). They will switch their role and repeat during the training process. The techniques they train include:
Ikkyo (first technique): a control technique
Sankyo (third technique): a rotational wristlock technique
Yonkyo (fourth technique): a shoulder control technique
Gokyo (fifth technique): a control technique used to take away knives and other weapons
Shihonage (four-direction throw): a throwing technique
Kotegaeshi (forearm return): a supinating wristlock-throw technique
Kokyunage (breath throw): an umbrella term for mechanically unrelated techniques
Tenchinage (heaven-and-earth throw): a throwing technique used to unbalance the uke so that he/she easily topples over
Koshinage (hip throw): a hip-throw technique
Jujinage (figure-ten throw): a throw that puts a defender's arms into a locked position