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Aikido Martial Arts

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This information is for someone looking to discover what Aikido teaches it’s students and how it is different from Taekwondo.  If you are looking for a comprehensive explanation check out our post here, What is Aikido.

Differences Between Aikido & Taekwondo

Since a majority of our readers are instructors or students in the art of Taekwondo we wanted to do a short comparison of Aikido to the art of Taekwondo.  Taekwondo is known as a very linear martial arts style. Taekwondo kicks, punches, and movements are done primarily in a straight line toward the target. However, what if someone gets into a situation where a linear attack with punches and kicks isn’t needed? Then this is where the art of Aikido would be beneficial to understand and know.

Aikido is a style that is comprised of joint locks and throws taken from Jiujitsu along with throws from Kenjutsu. So, Aikido is not a linear or striking style, but it’s goal is to use the opponents energy against themselves setting you up for throwing them away. There are no kicks in this style, however, it is an extremely dynamic in that it’s movements are based on the opponents movements and not a quick combination of kicks and footwork like Taekwondo,

Aikido is a style that teaches in the areas of:

  • self-defense technique
  • spiritual enlightenment
  • physical health
  • peace of mind

Aikido training is done with two partners (see video) moving through a series of per-arranged form or kata.  The attacking partner know as the ‘uke’ initiates an attack while the ‘tori’ or ‘nage’ performs a movement which will counteract the attack.  This type of training is a lot of that of Judo.

Two Primary Forces That Aikido Utilizes – Use The Force!


There are two primary forces that Aikido teaches to use in a physical situation and that is being grounded and using gravity. Much like Luke Skywalker was told to “Use The Force” by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Aikido helps it’s students to use forces that are there and not to use your own force.

morihiro-saito-kokyunage-oyoGrounded Force
Being grounded means that the body is relaxed and free from any form of tension. When your body is free from tension and stress you begin to notice the gravitational field on your body. All the energy that is consumed by tensions and working against gravity should now be used with these elements. For example, we have all be exhausted because we have spent hours being uptight and tense. This is what Aikido lessons attempt to eliminate.

Gravitational Force
Aikido teaches to use the gravitational force of the earth against your opponent. Let the gravitation forces assist your movements. By using the gravitational forces you will perform techniques with any use of your own strength but by using the force already being applied by gravity.

Common Questions About Aikdio

Questions: A lot of people ask can Aikido be used in a self defense situation?

Answer: Absolutely, Aikido is en extremely effective style that can be used for self defense. However, there are styles or techniques that can be learned much more quickly and intuitively then Aikido. So, if you are looking for a 2 hour course in learning self defense then rather then Aikido you might want to check out Street Fighting Uncaged which is about quick tip learning self defense techniques. It can take students many years to learn how to use the movements and techniques in an effective manner especially when in a self defense situation.

Question: Are there Aikido Tournament or competitions?

Answer: No, since Aikido is setup to use an attackers energy against themselves, this doesn’t setup well in a tournament setting.

Question: What is “Breath Power” or ‘kokyu-ryoku’ in Aikido and is it only used in Aikido?

Answer:  The breath power is not only referring to the breathing capacity of a person but also the mind body connection.  When a persons focus is on their breathing their mind is centered on their body and these two distance entities become one.  This is a critical discovery to most student within Aikido.  Both the ki and breath power are the ultimate sources of power and force in this style.


About Tony Hackerott

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Richard Walker Says:

    A good article which gives a nice comparison as well some depth to what Aikido is all about. As a student of Aikido for some years, I would like to add a couple of extra points, namely that Aikido is very much the ‘internal’ system of the Japanese Martial Arts (as are T’ai Chi, Pa Kua and Hsing-I are the internal schools of the Chinese Martial Arts).

    So one of the key objectives and principles of Aikido is to develop and use the flow of Ki (= chi in Chinese MA’s and Prana in Yoga) in our practice and application. Any discussion surrounding Ki, the subtle energy is always a bit awkward because it’s there but elusive. Suffice to say that without Ki there would be no life anywhere.

  2. Tony Hackerott Says:

    Hey Richard,
    Thanks for this explaining this. Most people only know the surface of Aikido (like myself) and have actually never studied it. Although I would love to study it the school for Aikido aren’t as numerous as Taekwondo schools.
    Thanks,
    Tony

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