Thursday, June 20, 2013
Concepts, Ideology, Characteristics >
(This material was obtained from the Aikikai World Headquarters web site.)
Concepts of Aikido
With the unification of technique, body, and heart, a pure budo comes into
being. The kind of budo which will manifest itself does not depend upon the
technique, but rather, upon the heart of the practitioner.
The aim of Aikido, to align itself with this kind of budo, shows itself within
kind of heart.
Here are some thoughts on the spirit of aikido.
Aiki is love.
With the heart of the heaven and the earth, become your heart. To embody the
broad spirit of unconditional love for everything and to fulfill your life
destiny, you must walk the path of the warrior -- budo.
Aiki means to skillfully strike down and to deny the ego and the inherent
insincerity in battling an enemy. Aiki is the path of imperative absolution and
enlightenment; the martial techniques are the embodiment of the discipline and
journey of uniting the spirit and the body and channeling the laws of heaven.
Ideology of Aikido
There exists in aikido a mindset that each and every person in the human race
should try to attain.
And, at the same time, aikido is the road marker
for that path.
The discipline of aikido revolves around, at the very least, making the attacker
lose all combative thoughts. (Of course, this is not a goal in itself; to specify
the goal is probably impossible.) The methods in which to dissipate combative
notions can be broken down into the next four ideas:
1. To kill
2. To hurt
3. To capture
4. To negate the conflict
The spirit of aikido is enmeshed with the fourth idea of negating the conflict,
and to reach that, we practice the third idea of capturing and immobilization
within our techniques. Therefore, there are no techniques of killing or
purposefully harming the attacker within aikido.
The techniques involve only the hands and not the feet, and there are no
offensive movements such as striking, thrusting, or kicking. In addition, all of
the techniques are only initiated once there is an attack upon us. Aikido's
notion of spacing between the attacker and defender, is that of the tegatana --
the embodiment of the sword-arm. We do not begin with grappling, but instead,
start all techniques from a distance.
The special features of these techniques is that they endeaver to fulfill the
spirit of one's true sincere heart through the spirit of aikido, and are the
manifestations of this spirit of not having even a particle of meanness or
Characteristics of Aikido
The goal of Aikido training is not perfection of a step or skill, but to improve
one's character worshiping the rule of nature so that one becomes "tough"
inside in such a way that this strength is expressed softly in movement.
This is exactly like nature: Nature's movements are efficient, rational,
and soft, but the center is immovable, firm, and stable. This can be said for
Space and Earth -- they all have a hard core -- and must be true for human
beings. These cores should become as one, so that the culmination of nature can
Maintaining this firm, stable, center, Aikido movement, with its emphasis on
spherical rotation, is characterized by flowing, almost dancelike, circular
motions (pivoting, entering, circling) that are used to overcome and control
the strength of the opponent. The principle of spherical rotation makes it
possible to defend one's self from an opponent of superior size, strength, and
Although Aikido movements are as soft, rational, and smooth as nature, by
applying a bit of force, it can become "tough" and devastating. The soft or
gentle quality of Aikido makes it appealing to people of all ages. In fact,
Aikido can be enjoyed by all -- men and women (regardless of age) and children.
not only offers spiritual development, but also provides exercise and teaches
proper etiquette and behavior.
At the heart of Aikido is the Oriental concept of the universal creative
principle, Ki. Aikido ("the way of harmony with Ki") seeks to achieve the
total unification of this universal Ki with the Ki (life force or breath)
of the individual self.