What is Aikido?
Aikido is the martial Art of Peace. Its name consists of three characters: Ai, which means “to harmonize”, “to meet”, Ki which means “energy”, “breath” and Do which means “way”, “path”. As a whole, Aikido means “the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy”.
Aikido originated from Daito-Ryu Aikijutsu and includes elements from various traditional schools of Jujutsu and Japanese fencing. The Aikido practitioner does not rely on strength or strikes to neutralize an attacker. The art consists of many sophisticated techniques of joint manipulation, with which the defender (nage) immobilizes the attacker (uke) firmly on the ground, without inflicting injury. The defender “meets” the attack, disrupts uke’s balance (“kuzushi”) and through circular, spiral movements leads him* to the ground, through immobilization or a throw.
Aikido is the Art of Non-Resistance, since nage does not oppose the attacker, but rather leads him in a circular motion, keeping him unbalanced. This principle allows an Aikidoka to deal with an opponent of superior size and strength. This feature makes Aikido an ideal form of self-defense for men and women of short stature..
Aikido is a demanding martial art and is based on the unification of the three elements (Shin-Gi-Tai) of the warrior according to the Japanese Budo.
Shin is the Spirit: calmness, acceptance, mindfulness
Gi is the Technique: the accuracy and skill in body movement
Tai is the Body: flexibility, stamina, posture, balance.
* For reasons of language simplicity, only the masculine gender is used in this website.