What is the martial art of Aikido?
Aikido is termed “The Art of Peace” for many reasons. I view it as being at peace with what occurs in your space, and moving independently through what is occurring in your space. I categorize Aikido as a “meta” art as it exists above convenient classification.
The impact of Aikido could be seen as how the practitioner moves through their space. The attacker does not control the Aikido practitioner, rather the Aikido practitioner is in sole control of their responses. These responses could be devastating strikes with hand and/or feet. These responses could be locks and/or breaks. These responses could be spectacular throws. Aikido focuses on the core motions of Martial Arts. In many ways, Aikido might almost be said to have no martial arts techniques – only martial motion. Some weapons techniques are incorporated into Aikido training, but are not emphasized as “Waza” or specific technique with the weapon. Rather, weapons practice in Aikido has traditionally been used to emphasize, explain, or demonstrate basic movement concepts.
Unlike Mixed Martial Arts, Aikido does not focus on picking this or that technique from various disciplines and combining them into a stand-alone or separate martial arts discipline. As a meta martial art, it looks at the basic martial or combat motions that are inherently useful, and works on discarding from our own bodies the motions that are not useful. It assumes any number of attackers can attack with an unlimited number of attacks. Any response to this limitless permutation of aggression that requires the student to choose the correct response will always fail. Our minds cannot response fast enough. Aikido looks to the body — the muscle memory — to respond effectively with only movement. The mind is at peace, and the rest “happens.”