Like Karate, techniques are practiced to handle attacks of both an armed or unarmed nature. The techniques in Aikido contain mostly blocks, locks and takedowns by the proper use of grappling techniques that are applied by trying to harmoniously get in tune with the attacker’s efforts.
Aikido stresses that fighting and endless conflict is never an answer. Rather, peaceful resolution of conflict, without causing harm, is the greater path. So ‘Ai’ (harmony, love, collaboration) ‘Ki’ (power, energy) ‘Do’ (way or path) is used to provide a way of cultivating and practicing the ‘art of peace’.
Aikido techniques are purely defensive, force is never met with force. Practitioners learn to redirect an aggressor’s attack, leading to a peaceful resolution. Size or physical strength is far less a factor in Aikido than it may be in other martial arts; so, anyone, large or small, young, or old, can practice effectively.
In aikido, as in virtually all Japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as specific techniques. Because a substantial portion of any aikido curriculum consists of throws, beginners learn how to safely fall or roll. The specific techniques for attack include both strikes and grabs; the techniques for defense consist of throws and pins. After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and techniques with weapons.
This aikido demonstration is provided by William Perkins.