What Is Aikido?

Aikido and aiki arts are progressive martial arts, rooted deeply in its original Samurai ancestral teachings and culture but ever evolving and is often referred to as the “art of peace”. Like water, it constantly changes as it is passed down from one practitioner to the next. Each practitioner remains true to the roots but incorporates their vision of Aiki as an evolving art. It is a system based on knowledge, foundation, timing,  kinetic power, and accuracy. Aikido teaches self-defense and self-control through three primary methods:

  • basics (martial arts exercises and conditioning)
  • katas (also known as pre-arranged sets or forms)
  • application (applying real defensive tactics for street)

Basics focus on various movements using body-mind coordination exercises that build foundation, proper form, and technique.  One learns to use energy in the attack to effectively neutralize any attack by relaxing their mind and body. Katas teach focus, concentration, mental discipline, and the basic techniques of aikido.  Applying the techniques in kata as practical self-defense against single and multiple attackers with weapons and empty handed is emphasized.   Above all, Samurai aiki arts teach the practitioner to be the best person they can be through the code of the warrior which includes self-disciplineself-confidence and respect, honor, courage, integrity, and compassion.

Aikido strives to maintain a balance between its “martial” aspect and its “art” aspect. The “martial” aspect is expressed by a relaxed, powerful, effective, and practical method of self-defense. The “art” aspect is expressed by its commitment to both tradition through presentation of form and the pursuit of excellence through self-expression, artistic creativity, and humility.

Aikido: (definition) – The way or path to harmonize energy
Aiki : (original definition) – Harmony of energy or inner energy.  A way to harmonize oneself.