Aikido, the Art
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical energy, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido can be categorized under the general umbrella of grappling arts.
Aikido History in Japan
The year 1942 is often cited as the beginning of modern aikido. It was at that time that the Dai Nihon Butokukai, desiring to achieve a standardization in teaching methodology and nomenclature for modern Japanese martial arts, reached an agreement with the Kobukai representative Minoru Hirai to call the jujutsu form developed by Morihei Ueshiba aikido. Thus, AIKI BUDO joined the ranks of judo, kendo, kyudo and other modern martial arts.
Aikido is a good, viable self-defense. It is probably better for self-defense than any of the empty-hand martial arts that are commonplace including TKD, karate, hapkido, jujitsu, and judo. It has been reported that some old-school judo teachers have told their students that for real self-defense do aikido but for sport do judo.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba’s early students’ documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu. Many of Ueshiba’s senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker. This attitude has been at the core of criticisms of aikido and related arts.