Aikido


I. Background

Aikido is a self-defense art from Japan that was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) which was introduced in the 1920’s. Its style and movements were adapted from various ancient Japanese martial arts such as Daito-ryu, Aikijujitsu, Yagyu-ryu, Kenjutsu, and others. The name Aikido is consisted of three words, Do (way/method), Ai (balance/harmony), dan Ki (life energy/spirit). Therefore, Aikido means “The way to harmonize your life energy”. In Aikido, an opponent’s attack is perceived as water that is not to be stopped nor held, but to be flowed to a safer direction instead.

Aikido teaches techniques like joint-locks, throws and how to neutralize an opponent’s aggressive attack (bare handed o with weapon), against single or multiple attackers. Aikido’s nature of being defensive is not focusing on how to confront the opponent by punching or kicking, but more on how to implement the technique to grab, control and lead the opponent’s attack so it will not harm us.


II. Training

Aikido training is always practiced in pairs, that way all the techniques being taught can be applied right away during the class. In Aikido, there is no individual technique routine (Kata) as in Karate or any other Japanese martial art. This makes all the techniques ini Aikido entirely applicable. Generally, Aikido training is conducted in an indoor class (dojo) and requires mat (tatami) as a training facility in order to maintain the safety and to minimize the injury possibility during practice.


III. Aikido Techniques

Aikido training is always practiced in pairs, that way all the techniques being taught can be applied right away during the class. In Aikido, there is no individual technique routine (Kata) as in Karate or any other Japanese martial art. This makes all the techniques ini Aikido entirely applicable. Generally, Aikido training is conducted in an indoor class (dojo) and requires mat (tatami) as a training facility in order to maintain the safety and to minimize the injury possibility during practice.

Throwing is another technique in Aikido for controlling the force of an oppponent’s attack by directing its flow – with a little extra energy – by using the opponent’s inbalance position and momentum. Besides teaching how to defense ourselves from a bare handed attacker, Aikido also teach students how to neutralize an armed attacker using weapon like sticks, knives or swords. In this matter, Aikido will train students the skills to use stick (jo) and wooden sword (boken) as well, by the time a student has mastered the techniques of bare hand self defense.


IV. A True Self-Defense

Aikido does not hold any tournament nor throwing a match for championship at all. The purpose of it is to preserve the nature of self-defense itself and to maintain one’s essence and spirit upon learning the true self-defense art. Aikido keeps the instinct and attitude of a ’Bushidoka’ on implementing the learned techniques, by responding only when encounters a threat or an attack. Win or lose in a fight is relative, it depends on the moment and a judgement’s point of view. For this reason, in the nature of self-defense, such term is not being celebrated in a form of tournament nor in any championship match.


V. Conclusion

Aikido training is truly beneficial for everyone, either male or female, from children to adults, even the elderly. It is because the system of training is safe and does not concentrating on just the physical strength, but more on the technique skills.