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What Is Aikido?

While many people recognize aikido as a common martial arts style, one may describe this art better as an effective and non-violent system of self-defense. In fact, the name “aikido” literally means, “the joining of the spirit to find the way,” and many police agencies around the world include aikido techniques in their arrest-tactics training. When deciding whether enrolling in one of these martial arts classes is a good choice for you, it can help to know a bit about this type of art.

Basic Techniques of Aikido

While aikido instructors’ teachings vary from school to school, this martial arts style contains several basic throwing and pinning techniques that vary depending on the type of oncoming attack against which you are defending yourself. Because this art traces its origins back to jujitsu and kenjutsu, it focuses significantly on using throws, joint locks, and the attacker’s energy against him or her to gain control of the attacker and throw him or her away from you.

The Fundamentals of Aikido Moves

While aikido has many techniques and moves, its basic structure comes from the throws and kicks in jujitsu and from the movements experts use when fighting with swords and spears. Following are the five fundamental movements present in this style of martial arts:

  • Ikkyo: focuses on controlling your opponent’s hands and elbows
  • Nikyo: involves using adductive wrist locks to twist your opponent’s arm and applying pressure to the nerve in his or her arm
  • Sankyo: directs upward tension throughout your opponent’s arm, elbow, and shoulder
  • Yonkyo: uses shoulder control similar to that present in an ikkyo, but, instead of gripping the forearm, yonkyo involves using your knuckles to put pressure on the radial nerve of your opponent’s forearm
  • Gokyo: involves gripping your opponent’s hand, inverting it, and twisting it

As one of the oldest form of armed forces arts, aikido uses circular techniques designed to render your opponent helpless rather than stopping attacks or conflicting with them. From wrist and joint locks to unbalancing throws that neutralize your opponent without causing serious injury, this martial arts style is perfect for those who want to learn an effective and non-violent form of self-defense.

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