That’s a very good question. And the short answer is that Aikido is different for everybody, and that everyone must discover for themselves what Aikido is for them.
The longer answer is the subject of this article.
Some commonly held views of Aikido
When I tell people that I teach Aikido, many people say
Oh, that’s where you use the energy of the attacker against them, isn’t it?
Well, it is… and it isn’t.
Aikido is more about a strategy like:
- Don’t be in a place where you can be hit
- Always resolve the situation to your advantage in the first move
- Take the path of least resistance
- Always aim to injury your attacker the least amount necessary to ensure everyone’s safety
I prefer to think of Aikido as the art of non-resistance.
What does non-resistance mean?
In all of our daily lives we experience conflicts both large and small, interpersonal, emotional, physical, at home, at work, and within ourselves. If we look closely within ourselves we will find that the seed of these conflicts lies within ourselves; within our thoughts and actions.
How can we be less argumentative, stubborn, or demanding? What’s the real reason these petty squabbles and power struggles take place? How can we be more compassionate, and caring? How can we make a positive difference to other people’s lives?
One of the philosophies of Buddhism is that resistance cause pain; That our resistance to living fully within the moment, our resistance to change is what causes pain. So to transcend the pain of living, Buddhism advocates letting go of the desire to be somewhere else, or have something else. To live fully within the moment, accepting ourselves and those arounds us they are.
By practicing and learning how to physically go around resistance and attacks (conflict) we can begin to learn about how we can resolve conflicts that are emotional or verbal.
Hang on, you’re meant to be talking about Aikido, not Buddhism
Yes, I know. But they are both related. The founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba was influenced by many philosophies such as Shinto, the Omoto Cult, Buddhism as well as studying many martial arts, before synthesising his own art, which he called Aikido.
What does the word “Aikido” mean?
- Ai (合) – Universe/Harmony
- Ki (気) – Energy
- Do (道) – Way
Aikido = the way of harmonising energy
It sounds lofty, doesn’t it? And the ultimate aim of the art is to achieve harmony with the world and with our fellow beings on this planet Earth. The Founder’s aim was to create love and harmony between the peoples of this small planet; to create world peace. However, it’s a long path, paved with hard training, good friends and many lessons.
What techniques do you do in Aikido?
We practice a wide range of joint locks, pinning and throws from a wide range of attacks, including striking and grabbing.
You can start training Aikido today
Just drop your details in below the video to claim two free classes