Simply put, aikido is a Japanese martial art in which the basic principle is to utilize your opponent’s power to control them in a lock or a throw. The image that most aikidoka (aikido practitioners) have of aikido is that of a circle. Why? The circle represents the continuous flowing line of energy that is not broken. Though this principle may sound simple enough, it takes extreme dedication and diligent practice to even begin to understand this art.
Aikido is often referred to as the peaceful art or way of harmony. Indeed the meaning of the character Ai in aikido is to match or harmonize. In aikido we do not promote aggression nor violence. Rather than overcoming an aggressor with brute force, aikido relies on the power of circular movements, through which an opponents attack or momentum can be redirected against them. The synergy of circular movement while blending with the attacker, and timing results in devastatingly effective technique that can allow a smaller weaker person to overcome a bigger, stronger aggressor.
The idea is to harmonize with your partner and blend with their movements so that the flow of energy and power is continued. Whether the opponent initiates with a grab, push or strike, we use the power of their attack to take them off balance in order to execute techniques that end in joint locks or throws.