View Full Version : What is different about aikido?

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09-23-2014, 10:37 AM

I am trying to answer a question for myself; thought I would put it out there for the collective experience and wisdom and see what comes of it. What is there, in Aikido, that is really unique and not found in other martial arts? Anything? A unique combination of things? What does aikido offer that other arts don't?

Thank you in advance.


Lee Salzman
09-23-2014, 11:21 AM

Cliff Judge
09-23-2014, 11:45 AM
I don't think Aikido has any unique single elements to it, but it is a fairly unique package among martial arts that most people in the world can train in without going too far out of their way.

The best thing about Aikido is the cooperative, non-competitive nature of training and philosophy.

The fact that it is non-competitive and cooperative are not unique, as all the classical Japanese martial arts are built on a foundation of non-competitive, cooperative kata training where techniques and principles are practiced in a formal manner. But Aikido allows for the technique to fit the abilities of the practitioner, as opposed to forcing the practitioner's abilities to fit the technique. That's something that can be done without risk of serious injury but it can involve a lot of pain.

Movements are generally big and circular so you can get a certain kind of workout that is good for circulation and you can explore practicing technique while keeping the body relaxed.

There is a deeply-rooted philosophy of finding alternatives to resistance, aggression, and direct opposition that is practiced with the body in class, but can be applied elsewhere in everyday life.

It might be that yoga and some Chinese martial arts provide all of these things, but with most styles, Aikido is all paired training, so for some people, it makes them come out of their inner shells and deal with the world around them a bit more. Some people go for the Japanese trappings as well, and the fact that it has a real warrior pedigree.

09-23-2014, 11:59 AM
Dear Barbara,
Aikido offers a platform for people to post articles ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.Cheers, Joe.

09-23-2014, 01:11 PM
thank you for the thoughtful and straightfoward answer. That is a really helpful, simple summary.


09-23-2014, 08:23 PM
Does aikido have to offer something that other martial arts don't? Is that why you train? If so, don't you already know the answer to your own question?

Mert Gambito
09-23-2014, 09:01 PM
What is there, in Aikido, that is really unique and not found in other martial arts?
On one hand, aikido is the one martial art with a grappling component I've experienced in which I've taken ukemi in a manner that's safe for me, as well as appropriate for the technique applied by the tori/nage (by broader standards, i.e. including various Japanese jujutsu, judo and BJJ), yet I was scolded for not being cooperative enough and/or doing the ukemi properly.

On the other hand, aikido is the one martial art I've experienced in which I've been admonished (and encouraged) that the form of the ukemi taken by a training partner is of zero relevance in terms of the quality of my expression as tori/nage.

Dan Richards
09-24-2014, 02:36 AM
Aikido, Aikijujutsu, Jujitsu, Judo and Russian Systema offer more paired training with partners than most other martial arts. And out of those, Aikido and Systema are the two that probably allow for the most individualist expression of the art.

Aikido is kind of like the Jazz of the martial arts world, with everything from Coltrane and Davis to Kenny G, crappy lounge singers, and new age smatterings of Yanni.

09-24-2014, 06:57 AM
combination of mostly paired training, odd weapons (swords and medium length stick), multiple attackers, non-clashing power, and last but not least, where men proudly wear skirts with or without shaving their legs and/or wearing panty hose. :)

09-25-2014, 06:26 PM
Hey, thanks all, some really cogent good thoughts here. Helped me clarify some things. though I have been in aikido for awhile, I don't know much at all about other martial arts. For various reasons, I am thinking about what aikido has to offer. This discussion was very helpful - sometimes you need to hear it from outside.
thanks again, feel done with this and will not be back for a bit.