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What is Aikido?

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art. Aikido literally means 'harmony energy way' or 'way of the harmonious spirit'. Individuals who practice aikido are called aikidoka.

Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba. Individuals who practice aikido refer to Morihei Ueshiba as o-sensei.

Some Aikido techniques were derived from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu and kenjutso. Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu is a form of Jujutsu with many joint techniques. Kenjutsu is a Japanese sword technique.

Aikido Techniques

Aikido incorporates a wide range of techniques which use principles of energy and motion to redirect, neutralize and control attackers.

One of the central martial philosophies of aikido is to be able to handle multiple-attacker circumstances fluidly. Randori, practice against multiple opponents, is a key part of the curriculum in most aikido schools and is required for the higher level belts.

One of the main philosophies of aikido is that the aikidoka (person practicing aikido) should gain control of their opponent as quickly as possible, while causing the least amount of damage possible to either party. If performed correctly, size and strength are not important for aikido techniques to be effective.

Aikido Defense

Aikido defense techniques are largely designed towards keeping the attacker off balance and locking joints. Many aikido defenses can be performed either as throwing techniques or as pins. Entering, striking and turning, are widely used aikido techniques.

Aikido Offense

Aikido offense techniques consist largely of stylized strikes and grabs. Kicks are sometimes used, but are not usually part of basic curricula.

Some common aikido strikes are:

a vertical strike to the head, a lateral strike to the side of the head and/or neck, and a straight punch.

Some common aikido grabs are:

  • a two handed grab
  • a shoulder grab

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