What is aikido?

What is Aikido, Ki Aikido or Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido?

The Spirit of Aikido Budo – Harmony

Aikido is a traditional, non-competitive, Japanese martial art meaning “the way of harmony with universal energy (ki, prana, chi).” The art was developed by Mohihei Ueshiba, aka O’Sensei.

Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, meaning “mind-body-unified” Aikido (aka Ki Aikido), is a pedagogical approach to learning Aikido, synthesized by Koichi Tohei Sensei, Chief Instructor for Aikikai. Ki Aikido explores the natural human state of mind-body union through graceful, dynamic self-defense movements.

Instead of responding to conflict with muscular force, Ki Aikidoka use ki and respect the training partner’s energy. By flowing with it and converting the attack into a roll or a pin, the practice results in a positive, invigorating experience for both participants. Ki Aikido is beneficial for everyone regardless of size, age, gender or physical ability.

Ki Aikido in Daily Life

Aikido practitioners observe their everyday lives are deeply enriched by the calmness and inner strength developed through the practice of Aikido.

Going beyond the advantage of learning to defend yourself, Ki Aikido helps you function more positively in your everyday world, to build confidence, raise your level of physical fitness, as well as safely handle conflicts and other difficult situations.

The more we practice, handling confrontations becomes second nature. By embodying the principles of Ki Aikido in daily life, we lessen the need for the physical combat skills of Aikido outside the dojo. The diligent, consistent study of Ki Aikido leads to a vigorous, confident, and spirited way of life.

Ki Aikido Definition

Ki Aikido is more than a physical art. It is a way of life that develops the mind-body principles of centering, grounding, blending, relaxation, timing intuition and positive Ki (energy) flow. New students will quickly find Aikido applying to almost every aspect of their lives. Sincerely practicing the principles of this art can result in increased physical balance, emotional calmness and mental alertness. Studying Ki Aikido can also develop a greater harmony with self, others and the environment.

(cited from the Midland Ki Society website)

Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido (aka Ki Aikido) is not a martial art with the goal of winning against your opponent. Its purpose is to acquire the true sense of mind and body unification through studying that “mind moves body (the principle of Ki).”  By truly experiencing the flow of Ki with body, you can produce the movement that is free and beautiful. This movement helps to polish your personality and to smooth out relationships with your fellow workers and family members. This will be effective in all situations of your life.

(cited from the Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai website)