View Full Version : What is a benefit specifically of Aikido

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John Matsushima
10-17-2005, 10:43 PM
I have spoken with many people who have told me how Aikido has made their life better. Examples have included more self-control, learning to respect others, more self-confidence, and feeling better physically and these are all great benefits to students of budo. My question is, what are some examples of benefits derived specifically from Aikido, and not just from Budo in general? What lessons are there to be learned about life from Aikido that would be different from other types of Budo, such as karate or ju-jutsu?

10-17-2005, 11:48 PM
Aikido is the only martial art that I know of that specifically teaches Aiki.

-Chris Hein

10-18-2005, 12:01 AM
Well there is Daito-ryu and other related arts.

Some say the Ju of Judo is pretty Aiki-ish. Certainly Kito-ryu (one of the root arts of Judo) used the term.

Aiki was originally a kenjutus term.

10-18-2005, 01:52 AM
Yeah Yeah Yeah, got to rain on my parade peter! hahahah


10-18-2005, 01:58 AM

I know and I feel bad about it. :D

Still I am of the opinion that Aikido offers nothing that can't be gotten elsewhere. A bit reactionary I realize but I've just had too many of "self congratulatory" descriptions of what Aikido is to let it go.

That and I was hungry.

10-18-2005, 07:43 AM
IMHO, Aikido is a tool that can benefit in how one uses it. But, specifically and exclusively, its only a tool. There is nothing special about Aikido unless you use the tool wisely.

10-18-2005, 09:23 AM
Im not sure what it is about aikido that attracts people to it so much. My sensei has trained in tons of martial arts. He had a black belt in judo and in some form of karate and he also was a 3rd degree brown belt in shaolin... but he said when he found aikido he liked it more than any other martial art he had ever done, and aikido is the only one that he teaches today.

Even when i just show some of my friends a few simple joint locks they are like "whoa! i wanna do aikido" lol You would think that people would be more impressed by some shaolin kicks over their head but they really arent.

its funny, i dont know what it is about aikido ... but i know its a great martial art and theres nothing else out there thats like it.

James Davis
10-18-2005, 10:02 AM
Not a lot of competition in aikido (most of the time ;) ). I like that. I loved playing soccer in high school, but it brought out the monster in me. I like the cooperative aspect of aikido; it's not so much about competition. I like trying to rise to the level of sempai while giving a hand up to kohai. My worst nights at the dojo might have resulted in injury, but not sadness over a lost game. My dojo is a positive place. :D

Chris Li
10-18-2005, 10:10 AM
Well there is Daito-ryu and other related arts.

Some say the Ju of Judo is pretty Aiki-ish. Certainly Kito-ryu (one of the root arts of Judo) used the term.

Aiki was originally a kenjutus term.

Yes and no. Morihei Ueshiba stated repeatedly that his "aiki" was different from "aiki" as used previously. In books like "Takemusu Aiki" it seems to me that he was saying that the difference is that "aiki", which is a technical principle in arts like Daito-ryu, is expanded to a "philosophical" principle in Aikido. In other words, that the technical principle related to physical interaction between the attacker and attacked changed (or was extrapolated) into a principle related to the interaction with other people on an individual and societal level. In that sense, you could say that Aikido is the only art that teaches "aiki" on both a technical and a philosophical level (at least, ideally).

That Aikido may not offer anything that isn't available elsewhere is, IMO, not all that relevant. There is nothing, at one level, in a chicken that doesn't exist in a dog, but that doesn't mean that they are equivalent.



10-18-2005, 12:43 PM
Aikido seems magical to someone who hasent had to do Ikkyo 10,000 times, maybe that attracts people. Also have you ever noticed how many fat people do Aikido, why does Aikido attract so many fat people?

-Chris Hein

Camille Lore
10-18-2005, 10:57 PM
..I think I get fat when I do Aikido... maybe it's just all that ki storing up at my one point!

Seriously though, I have used aikido esp. recently as a way to get myself back on track when I am incredibly stressed. A little while of ki excercises, jo kata and such in the woods restores me to balance and keeps me more centered to deal with conflict, confrontation, etc. A came from a very stressful, confrontational meeting tonight - my reaction to stress without balance is to lose my temper. I was able to remain calm and unflappable, which is quite and accomplishment for me. Tomorrow night, I'll be at the dojo so I can get more centered and hopefully avoid a nervous breakdown! :drool:

10-19-2005, 02:52 PM
That Aikido may not offer anything that isn't available elsewhere is, IMO, not all that relevant. There is nothing, at one level, in a chicken that doesn't exist in a dog, but that doesn't mean that they are equivalent.


Man, I'm gonna steal tha...quote that big time.

Anat Amitay
10-22-2005, 04:41 AM
Like you said, there are certain things many MA's give on a personal level.
For me Aikido has helped out with dealing with everyday stuff that can happen.
For example- I slipped on a wet floor, and instinctivly went into a roll. It wasn't a perfect roll, but it sure helped me avoid some possibly harmful injury. I also did not crash down and so I didn't even get burished. It came semi- automatic (well, I was about 3 years in Aikido when it happened) and apperntly was useful.
On less dramatic effects I have the example of being able to walk in a crowded place without the need to bump ("collide") into people and see in advance the path people unconciously plan and so avoid getting into thight spots.
There are many more examples like that, but it's the matter- of - fact examples of the general things of "blending", "being more patient and understanding towards others" etc.
my two cents,

Kevin Temple
11-08-2005, 11:06 PM
I think a lot of the off-the-mat benefits of aikido really depend on the dojo environment itself and not the art. It is the people teaching with you and learning with you that make your dojo experience different than another dojo, regardless of the art. Maybe a karate dojo down the street changes its students life in the same way as your aikido dojo, whereas another aikido dojo does not.

Amir Krause
11-09-2005, 07:42 AM
Aikido offers nothing that can't be gotten elsewhere

Or in other words:
"It's not what Aikido is doing for you, it is what you are doing to yourself via Aikido training".
Another person could find he would get the same conceptual contributions to himself through other means, be it meditation, religion, another M.A., another sport or occupation or a combination of all above.
Further, we can not be sure of any contribution to our "conceptual world", only to the physical skills. After all, growing up also changes us as well as any experience we get in life. Aikido is just another way of getting a certain type of focused experiences.


11-09-2005, 10:28 PM
The thread below contains material that is very relevant here. I argue that aikido, while not being in any single way unique, has a long list of features that are more than the sum of their parts and make it highly beneficial.


To use an analogy, is there nothing 'unique" in the woman you love - other women have kindness, intelligence, big breasts, whatever...but that's not really the point is it?

11-10-2005, 03:53 AM
I've watched this thread grow with interest as one after another poster seems to say there is nothing special about aikido.

If I were not already practicing aikido I think I'd read this and think "nothing special? don't think I'll bother then".

I do agree with many here that have already said that in martial terms there is nothing unique about the application of aikido techniques. They can all be found in other arts and it is no secret that O'Sensei utilised the techniques from his wide and varied experience.

For many mastery of these techniques is the goal, and for those that veiw their aikido this way then maybe yes - there is nothing special about aikido apart from being another flavour of jujitsu perhaps.

The question remains what is a benefit specifically of aikido? Or what characteristic is specific to aikido?

For me this is not in the techniques but in how they are applied.

We seek to blend. Not to destroy but to control uke through applying yin to yang, or yang to yin.

While the application is similar - this use of blending to create a form that is as harmonious as the Tao is unique.

The goal of controlling rather than destroying uke may also be unique.

I also think the complementary use of weapons forms is perhaps unique. Other forms use weapons but are they practiced to complement empty hand practice or are they an additional set of separate types of practice?

I don't know if tai chi or the chinese forms we see mentioned regularly on aikiweb also meet some of these criteria and if their aims lean towards control. If they do then maybe aikido is just in a small bunch rather than unique.

But I do think these aims (for those that accept them) differentiate aikido from being another jujitsu form.

I know already that many disagree. Maybe this diversity of interpretation is also unique to aikido...but knowing the mindset of many MA I very much doubt it.

Anyway - just my thoughts which I've tried hard to refrain from posting for several days now. In the end the lure of this thread was just too strong!