What is Aikido?

Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art originally founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Aikido is an effective form of self defense where the power of an attack is used for the defensive technique. Aikido relies more on agility and speed than on power and stamina. That’s why men and women can train together.

Techniques can be practiced unarmed and armed. The weapons we use are a wooden sword (bokken), wooden stick (jo) and a wooden knife (tanto).

Aikido has no competition, organising Aikido games was prohibited by the founder O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, cause it is contrary to the Aikido principal which contains: no resistance. The Aikido participant (aikidoka) goes along with the move of the attack. The attack is bent in circular moves from the centre of the body. This causes the attacker to be brought out of balance and the attack to be neutralised.

The word Aikido consists of 3 words:
ai harmony, balance and encounter
ki energy, power
do the way

The fundamental of this martial art goes back to the Aiki-jutsu, an martial art from the 8th century. Samourai practiced both armed as well as unarmed techniques. The armed techniques like we now them now days: sword (ken-jutsu, iaido and kendo),  knife (tanto-jutsu), spear (naginata / yari-jutsu), stick (bo-jutsu / jo-jutsu). The unarmed techniques like we now them now days: sumo-wrestling, karate, judo and jujutsu. These unarmed techniques were complementary in the event that the samurai had no access to his weapons.

Praticing Aikido took place in schools or style (ryu). The knowledge of the ryu where only teached to a few people. The leadership of a ryu went from one generation to the next.

 


 

De beoefening van technieken vond plaats in scholen of stijl (ryu). De kennis van een ryu werd alleen aan ingewijden gegeven. Het leiderschap van een ryu ging van de ene generatie op de volgende. De kennis van de historie van de diverse Ryu’s is gelukkig vastgelegd is in vele geschriften.

Daito-Ryu is een van de oudste Ryu’s. Deze school kent een zeer lange historie die terug gaat tot keizer Tenno Seiwa (850-851) van de Minamoto-clan. In de elfde eeuw zijn de technieken op schrift gezet. In deze periode neemt de familie de naam Takeda aan. De technieken blijven geheim binnen de Takeda familie. Tot Sokaku Takeda (1859-1943) les begint te geven. Hij noemt het systeem Daito Ryu aikijujutsu. Morihei Ueshiba is zijn belangrijkste leerling