Aikido Morihei Ueshiba Brief History and Background of Aikido

Aikido was founded and developed by Japanese Morihei Ueshiba during the 1920’s/30’s. He named his martial arts ‘Aikido’ in 1942, which essentially means the ‘The Way of Harmony of the Spirit’ or ‘Way of Combining Forces’. Morihei introduced a very spiritual and ethnical approach to his art.

It was introduced to the rest of the world in the early 50’s and quickly spread with dojo’s popping up in many countries.

Of course there are variations and hybrids of the original Aikido arts and several different organisations. Each one of these different variations have their own interpretation on which area’s to concentrate on. The Largest and original organisation is the ‘AikiAiki Foundation’, which is still run by the Ueshiba family and emphasis very much the old traditional values, but even this has variances from teacher to teacher. Some of the other organisations include, the International School of Traditional Aikido (ISTA) and Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU). Aikido uses many techniques from Jiu-Jitsu as well as Morihei’s own ideas.

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Aikido Training

A practitioner of Aikido is known as an ‘Aikidoka’.

Aikido is designed to redirect your attackers energy and momentum with throws and joint locks, while trying to minimise injury to your attacker.

Training is concentrated on physical fitness, conditioning, flexibility, endurance, mental strength, relaxation and confidence and of course technique. The techniques used include: throws, joint locks, some strikes (usually limited to using the hands), grabs, multiple attack training and even weapons training.

Practise of the techniques usually rely on a partner either attacking or defending and of course the emphasis for Aikido will be the practising of your defence using your attackers own energy/body against them.

Aikido Equipment/Gear Used

Aikido Gi (A Full Standard Gi)
Keokogi (Jacket)
Hakama (Flared Bottoms)
Various Belts (For some organisations)

Weapons used in Aikido

Jo Staff – The Jo Staff is a wooden pole and usually around 1″ thick and 50″-56″ in length. The Jo is mainly used in Aikido in a circular motion to blend attacks.

Bokken – Which means wooden sword (wood = bok and sword = ken). This training weapon was introduced to help train Japanese warriors and Samurai in a safe manner.

Tanto – The tanto is single edged Japanese short sword that measures under 12″ and was popular with the Samurai for close quarter fighting, as it could be used to penetrate body armour.

Celebrity Aikido Practitioners

Steven Seagal
Sean Connery
Toshiki Kaifu (Japanese Prime Minister)

Movies featuring mainly Aikido

Title Year
The Power Of Aikido (The Defensive Power of Aikido) 1975
Above the Law 1988
Hard to Kill 1990
Marked for Death 1990
Out for Justice 1991
Under Siege 1992
On Deadly Ground 1994
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory 1995
Executive Decision 1996
The Glimmer Man 1996
Fire Down Below 1997
The Patriot 1998
Exit Wounds 2001
Ticker 2001
AIKI 2002
Half Past Dead 2002
Belly of the Beast 2003
Out for a Kill 2003
Out of Reach 2004
Black Dawn 2005
Into the Sun 2005
Submerged 2005
The Foreigner 2005
Today You Die 2005
Attack Force 2006
Mercenary for Justice 2006
Shadow Man 2006
Flight of Fury 2007
Urban Justice 2007
Kill Switch 2008
A Dangerous Man 2009
Against the Dark 2009
Driven to Kill 2009
The Keeper 2009
The Marker 2009
Born to Raise Hell 2010
Machete 2012
Maximum Conviction 2012