What is Aikido Martial Arts?

About Aikido

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that effectively utilizes joint locks, throws, strikes, and pins to neutralize an attacker. Through circular movement and advantageous position, techniques redirect the force of aggression to harmonize with the encounter.

Aikido training is physically rigorous, but does not rely on strength.
During class, you will throw and been thrown many times, with an emphasis on both executing and receiving techniques. This training develops endurance, flexibility, stability, situational awareness and responsiveness. As techniques rely on position and timing, strength is not necessarily an advantage in any encounter.
Aikido is a non-competitive martial art.
There are no competitions in Aikido. A student’s progress is measured only by their effort to develop themselves. In classes, we don’t spar to win a match, but work with partners to improve our techniques. Instead of tournaments, we have seminars with students and teachers from around the world. As students progress, practice gradually increases in intensity with the ability to sincerely give and dynamically respond to more forceful attacks.
Aikido is an inclusive martial art.
During class, you will throw and been thrown many times, with an emphasis on both executing and receiving techniques. This training In an Aikido class, everyone works together – all levels, all sizes, all strengths, all genders, all backgrounds, and all abilities. There is something to learn with every person, whether advanced or beginner, large or small, younger or older. Aikido is practiced around the world, across countries, cultures, languages, and religions.
Woman practicing Aikido in Tacoma

History of Aikido

Aikido was developed in the early 20th century by the late Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei (Great Teacher), who lived from 1883-1969.

A renown martial artist, O Sensei developed Aikido from his study of Daito Ryu jujitsu, sword, spear, and his spiritual practice. Experiencing the horror of war and violence firsthand, O-Sensei realized that winning at the expense of another’s downfall was not a victory. Instead, O-Sensei’s Aikido offers the choice of control an encounter instead of destruction, of cooperation instead of domination.

“To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.”
– Morihei Ueshiba
History of Aikido

Philosophy of Aikido

Translated as “the way of harmony” or  “the way of peace” Aikido (合気道) is a modern manifestation of budo that seeks to unite body, mind, and spirit with the universal forces of nature.  

Paradoxically, Aikido is a nonviolent martial art. We commit fully to each martial encounter, yet our practice seeks to neutralize conflict. In this way, Aikido promotes peace through us out into the world.

Through Aikido, we can move beyond the duality of winning and losing. In doing so, we reach a deeper understanding of ourselves and others. 

Aikido Philosophy