View Full Version : What is it that is special about aikido?

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Kung Fu Liane
03-04-2003, 06:50 AM

i've been doing aikido for about a year and a half, and chinese styles for almost five. yet, despite the time difference in my training, i feel that i am drifting towards aikido. now, either its that hakama are so damn cool, or there is something extra special about aikido.

does anyone have any thoughts on what makes aikido stand out from the other arts?

i feel that it is partly the teachings of the founder, together with the fact that the art is fairly young and hasn't been misinterpreted as much as some of the older styles. still, there is something else, which i just can't put my finger on...


mike lee
03-04-2003, 06:59 AM
People often smile while they practice and children love to run around and play on the mat.

03-04-2003, 07:15 AM
I agree with Mike. Lately I've been doing a lot of video taping of classes, and almost universally, the folks on the tape are doing an awful lot of smiling!

03-04-2003, 09:05 AM
AiKiDo seems to me to be very useful as a model for my relationships with my friends and loved ones. As an art, it focuses on relationships and how they are built and what makes them feel like they are working. This is true, I find, even in dojos that deliberately turn away from the philosophical side of the art. For me, this makes AiKiDo seem very relevant in a day-to-day way.

03-04-2003, 09:46 AM
I think unlike many solo kata driven (symantics--you know what I'm saying) arts, Aikido is a new experience with each person you train with. You learn from having techniques performed on you as well as performing them. It is also a morally conscious and benevolent art that doesn't aim to harm, and gives an opponent as many chances as possible to disengage and quit being violent. It has a rich, traceable history.

All these things and everything I forgot to mention makes Aikido appealing.

03-04-2003, 09:56 AM
"AiKiDo seems to me to be very useful as a model for my relationships with my friends and loved ones." - Opher Donchin

It's a gift you give by presenting yourself to the world as a happier and less conflicting (internally, externally) person.

I know the word is scary, but for lack of a better term, "religion" comes to mind. Thinking along the line of the founders teachings.

Makes me happy, this Aikido stuff does. It's kind of like a physical way to deal with stress, without having to take the Welbuterin or Paxil. ;-)

03-04-2003, 01:05 PM
Aikido is not about "mystical teachings of the founder".

It does not belong to any particular country or race.

Aikido is (a) truth.

Founder saw the truth. He showed it to other people so that they can see it too.

He never tried to be mystical or complicated.

Some people just perceived him that way due to their inability/unacceptance to recognize what he meant.

03-04-2003, 03:04 PM
I think the thing we identify with is born inside us when we are young, Aikido is a word that we come to find means that "nature" in side our hearts and the joy is like meeting an old friend, for the first time. the techniques just remind us about the comlexity of nature and remind us what was written in our souls at birth.

03-04-2003, 03:06 PM
i ment "simple complexity of nature."

in other words the nature of things that appear complex but in truth are simple.

Johnny Chiutten
03-05-2003, 05:43 AM

I think the reason why Aikido is different is that the founder intended it to be a path of spiritual enlightenment.

As far as I know (i might be wrong) there are only 3 types of Martial arts that is designed as a vehicle towards this in mind. That is Aikido, Tai Chi (Daoism)and Shaolin Gung Fu (Buddhism)

All three teaches universal truths expressed in different ways through each particular art.

Sincerely, Johnny

Kung Fu Liane
03-05-2003, 09:37 AM
Johnny - that helped, i hadn't thought about it really, but i study all three of them :) i just feel like i ought to have a favourite one (a bit childish really)

yep, most people smile on the mats

03-05-2003, 11:18 AM
Many martial arts have philosophies, cool gear, charismatic orignators etc. For me what defines aikido is:


and nothing else. I think this is the one great truth that Aleksey mentions - you cannot defeat blending (although it can be hard to achieve). For me, aikido without blending is no different from ju-jitsu. Also, I believe any technique or movement done with blending (inferring correct timing and coordination) is blending.

Indeed, from this I think springs a whole philosophy in that to blend you must respond to what is here and now in this very moment, and you must be upright and powerful, yet sensitive.

I think the same could possibly be said about tai-chi, and I would say the big difference is in tai-chi you give in to overcome (keep feet where they are and change psoture). In aikido you keep the posture strong at all times, and instead move your position. Thus maybe I should say:

blending whilst remaining upright (in many senses of the words).

All other definitions either do not exclusively describe aikido, or do not apply to the whole of aikido (though I'd say many 'ju-jitsu' practioners think they do aikido!).

03-05-2003, 06:24 PM
nothing makes it special.

if there is sincerity in the teaching and the training then any martial arts is special.

everyone likes to think that what they study is the best or most spiritual or most advanced or whatever, in truth its all about if you enjoy it. if you enjoy it and you train sincerely it is special. same for anything.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 09:40 PM
Nothing makes it special...AND at the same time EVERYTHING makes it special.

From the Japanese perspective..I think it is the only true "Internal" japanese martial system. (not saying that other arts cannot achieve true internalization...just that Aikido tends to center on that.

I think other Chinese arts such as Tai Chi also tend to be "Special" in that regard.

Keep in mind though that what makes it special for one person, may make it "dysfunctional" for another....that is why I say it is both NOTHING and EVERYTHING.