Whenever I move, that's Aikido.
O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba
This nOde last updated
December 5th, 2002 and is permanently morphing...
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A Japanese art of self-defense that employs holds and locks and that uses the principles of nonresistance in order to debilitate the strength of the opponent.
[Japanese aikido : ai, mutual + ki, spirit + do, art.]
Aikido, Japanese martial art that uses a system of holds, throws, and locks as its principal movements. The name comes from the Japanese words ai (union, harmony), ki (vital breath, energy), do (way). The art focuses on controlling one's ki (vital energy within the body that is centered in the abdominal region) to subdue an opponent. Aikido advocates self-defense, emphasizing nerve points that, when pressed, can bring down an adversary without maiming or killing.
Aikido depends on two categories of movement: those
of control (katame-waza) and those of throwing an opponent (nage-waza).
More than 700 movements belong to these two waza. All are derived from
the basic kata (forms), which include freeing oneself from grips, throwing
an opponent to the ground by exerting pressure on the limbs, and immobilizing
the opponent by placing pressure on the joints. These three series of movements
are the foundation
of all self-defense movements in aikido. Aikido students form pairs, alternating
positions of uke (assailant who is thrown) and nage (person who is assaulted).
In response to a throw, students use rolling or leaping falls to absorb
impact and lessen the chance for injury.
Upon closer examination,
practitioners will find from Aikido what they are looking for, whether
it is applicable self-defence technique, spiritual enlightenment, physical
health or peace of mind. O Sensei emphasised the moral and spiritual aspects
of this art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace.
"The Way of Harmony of the Spirit" is one way that "Aikido" may be translated
into English. This is still true of Aikido today, although different styles
emphasise the more spiritual aspects to greater or lesser degrees. Although
the idea of a martial discipline striving for peace and harmony may seem
paradoxical, it is the most basic tenet of the art.