HOME > Feature Articles > 【Web AIKI Course Part 1】 Knowledge of AIKI Series 1「What is AIKI ?」

At the starting of Web AIKI Course

Cooperating with BAB Japan Co., Ltd., hereby I start Web AIKI Course in order to realize my long-standing desire to let as many as martial arts fans all over the world have the correct knowledge of AIKI and learn how to practice AIKI.

This course consists of
Part 1 as introductory articles, I explain a wide range of knowledge about what AIKI is, which contains 6 lessons.
Part 2 as main articles, for beginners/intermediate level, I explain how to practice AIKI to master. It contains 24 lessons.

The each lessons will be uploaded on BudoJapan website one by one every week.
I hope as many people as possible will be interested in AIKI and become able to practice it by following this course.

【Web AIKI Course Part 1】Knowledge of AIKI

Sokaku TAKEDA, the founder of Daito-Ryu

The number of people outside of Japan who know the word AIKI has increased in recent years. Until about 30 years ago, even in Japan, only a limited number of people knew about the existence of AIKI, a mysterious technique that allows you to collapse an opponent without using physical force. So, the current situation where AIKI is spreading all over the world seems like fantasy, not true.

On the other hand, although the word has become more well-known, the number of people outside of Japan who have a correct understanding of this technique is still small. And there are very few people who can do it. In Europe, I have met quite a few people who claim to be able to do “AIKI”. I have seen their techniques directly or on Youtube etc., and I convinced what they do are not AIKI at all. Therefore, in this course, I would first like to clarify what kind of phenomenon AIKI is.

What kind of technique is AIKI, or what kind of phenomenon is it?
Recently, not a few AIKI instructors in Japan have found the methods for realizing AIKI based on their own experiences. And they are trying to explain what AIKI is and how people can master it based on the methods they found.

In conclusion, the methods of AIKI that many instructors explain in their own way can be said to be the correct methods, so far as ordinary people will be able to practice AIKI if they follow the written instructions.

On the other hand, there are the “methods” which do not give any clear idea what practitioners should do to master AIKI. Most of those methods use the word “KI”, means spirits, and people never understand what they are explained by using this word KI.

Morihei UESHIBA, the founder of Aikido

Now let’s take a look at what the previous big AIKI masters have said about AIKI.

For example, Morihei UESHIBA, a disciple of Sokaku TAKEDA, the founder of Aikido, said, “AIKI is not a technique to fight or defeat an enemy. It is the way to harmonize the world and make people a family.”
(From Morihei UESHIBA’s Quotations | underwater-festival.com)

Yukiyoshi SAGAWA, also a disciple of Sokaku TAKEDA, said, “AIKI is not power.”And the power he emits is called “the power of a vacuum”. (from the book titled “Transparent Power” written by Tatsuo KIMURA, Bunshun Bunko)

Koudou HORIKAWA, also a disciple of Sokaku TAKEDA in his later years, said, “AIKI NO JUTSU is the art of making use of the opponent’s strength, relaxing the opponent’s strength and taking his Gyakute, reversal hand, and freely subjugating the opponent. Depending on the attacking way of the opponent, I can handle him by the best reaction way.” (From Yusei Koho, February 1951, “AIKI, Self-Defense martial arts of Daito-Ryu”)

As you can see from the above, the words left by the AIKI masters are very abstract expressions and cannot be called methods nor definitions. I think that these meanings can be understood only when one can realize AIKI.

Yukiyoshi SAGAWA

Now, the question I have always wondered is, with all the different ways AIKI can be defined, can’t we have just one definition of it?

Normally, if you learn AIKI in a school, you can only practice AIKI that the instructor is good at. Fortunately, unlike most other teachers, I developed most of AIKI on my own rather than being taught it.

So I have discovered a number of AIKI that are realized in a number of different ways (methods). As a result, the definition common to them has finally become clear recently.

It is said that “the human brain has an OS(operation system) that controls the muscles, and it is updated and updated based on the experience accumulated with age. The phenomenon of AIKI is that the brain puts the muscles out of control in the same way that the computer goes out of control by being infected with a virus.”

According to this definition, all the techniques of AIKI that have been published by various people can be explained. The difference in the method of “providing stimulation from the outside” here is nothing but the “definition” of AIKI that has been explained in various ways in the past.

Now, let’s consider AIKI from the perspective of phenomena.
A technique that defeats the opponent with just a slight push
A technique that causes the opponent to collapse just by touching it,
A hand that touches the opponent’s hand and can’t let go and makes it spin around.
A technique that throws the opponent
A technique that breaks the opponent without touching it
An extreme technique that knocks down about 10 people standing about 10 meters away.
Those will come to mind.


From my own experience, there is no doubt that ordinary people will take these techniques as rigged or speculative. Of course, there are some presentations that look like match-fixing, but aside from that, AIKI is such a mysterious technique that you can’t understand it if you don’t understand the methods.

About 15 years ago, I held an AIKI seminar at the Japanese Cultural Center called Shofukan in The Hague, The Netherlands. With a large number of audience sitting around watching, I gave a demonstration of fall down my disciple who was standing firmly by just touching his belly.

I overheard a young, around 12-years-old boy in the front row saying to his mother next to him, “Hey mom, you can’t do that, it’s a hoax.” So I had the boy come out and fall him down twice with the same technique.

The boy, who was easily rolled backwards twice, returned to his original spot and excitedly reported to his mother, “Mommy, that really got me fell over. It’s true.”  I now remember it.

AIKI has some flashy techniques that surprise the audience, but there are also simple techniques that you can’t tell if it’s an AIKI technique just by looking at it. For example, when the wrist is tightly grasped by the opponent, move the arm upwards and forwards as if the wrist is not grasped, and apply a technique to the opponent.

In Aikido demonstrations, the opponent often grasps the wrist at the beginning, and in that case, such AIKI techniques are absolutely necessary.



representative of AIKI JUJUTSU GYAKUTE-DO

Facebook: AIKI Jujutsu Gyakute-do

Wrote & supervised by KURABE Makoto SHISEIDO, 2nd Soushi(Grand master) of AIKI Jujutsu Gyakute-do
He was born in 1950 in Kashiwa city Chiba prefecture. Graduated PHD course of Science University of Tokyo. After learning Judo and Shito-ryu Karate-do, started learning Gyakute-do Jujutsu which was created under influence of Hakko-ryu Jujutsu and the other Ko Bujutsu. Since TANAKA Tadashi CHUSHUDO, founder of Gyakute-do, 1st Soushi, passed away and the Ryuha died out without a successor, he had started instructing Gyakute-do seriously to the local Budo fans in the Netherlands so that he can let the name Gyakute-do would not disappear. Besides, during pursuing Gyakute-do, he had discovered the theory of AIKI and had established the methods to realize AIKI and the practicing way in his original way successfully.
Time to time he often writes for the Japanese martial arts journal “Hiden”. So far he has published books “Story of Dutch”, “Fast learning AIKI”, etc., DVDs “How to master AIKI” etc.