Aikido is a Japanese martial art that promotes fitness, flexibility, resilience and body awareness.
Aikido techniques involve unbalancing and then throwing and/or pinning an attacker. Techniques rely on blending movements and good body mechanics, especially rotational movements originating from the lower body.
There is no competition or sparring in aikido. Partners alternate in the role of attacker or defender, and all techniques are applied in a controlled fashion, for safety.
Modern aikido is an art. The defender aims to destabilise the attacker, while the attacker constantly works to recover stability and maintain presence. The interaction between both is at the centre of aikido practice.
Aikido is part of the Japanese tradition of budō, or ‘martial ways’. The purpose of budō is self-development, promoting calm, focus, discipline and compassion.
During training, each partner adapts to the level of the other. This allows new and experienced, young and old, weak and strong to train safely together. Because of this, Aikido practice can be slow and gentle or powerful and intense, depending on the level of the partners involved.