Aikido follows a training method that involves the repetition of throws, holds and pins until natural, powerful, unforced movement is embodied. Aikido techniques are defensive in nature, but in aikido training at its most advanced stage the role of attacker and defender are blurred as the defender resolves conflict instantaneously. Aikido seeks to neutralize an aggressor’s force or attack.
How Aikido is Practiced
Especially in beginning training, many simple grabs, such wrist grabs, are used as attacks so students gain understanding of lines of attack, distancing, connection, and the need for an alert, yet relaxed mind and body. Students take turns being the attacker (uke) and the defender (nage). Both parts are equally important in training. The curriculum includes ‘empty hand’ techniques, bokken (practice sword) jyo (staff) and tanto (knife) defenses. Consistent training will encompass physical, mental, spiritual and ethical self-development. The fact that there is no competition in Aikido is the logical conclusion of its philosophy. Freed from the concerns of winning and losing, practitioners can concentrate on mutually beneficial goals.. Each person progresses at his/her own pace. The Japanese word for training, Keiko, (literally “tracing the old”) offers insight into the Aikido training method. Keiko is more than just physical repetition of movements. It is physical action coupled with proper spirit and attitude. Students use their teacher as a model, and they themselves become role models for more junior students.