Frequently Asked Questions

What is aikido?

A modern martial art based on Samurai traditions, aiming to overcome the attacker by leading and reversing the force and energy of the enemy's attack and trying to neutralize it without causing injury. Moreover, it's not only a technical system, but a serious spiritual way and a lifestyle as well. In aikido we not only learn bare handed techniques, but the practitioners study the basic movements of the japanese sword and the stick, which are a base for many of the bare-handed applications.

What does the word aikido mean?

In japanese AI means 'to unite' or 'harmony'. KI means 'life', 'universe'. DO means 'the way', 'method', 'teaching'. Alltogether aikido means 'unity with the universe'or 'the way of harmony'.

In what way does aikido differ from other martial arts?

The biggest difference is, that aikido does not utilize physichal strength, like many other martial arts. We rather use the momentum of the partner and apply joint locs and pins.

Are there any kicks and punches in aikido?

Aikido is not a kicking/punching art. Although we learn how to defend against punches, and sometimes the techniques themselves include punching in order to bring the opponent off-balance, in the traditional sense kicks and punches are not included in the aikido technical repertoire.

"What do you use then?" - is the question people tend to ask next.
Pins, blending with the attack and guiding it, throws and circlic, "dance-like" movements.

 Is any special trait required to practice aikido? (strenght/flexibility/etc.)

 No. No unusual trait is required, since aikido builds on natural moves and movement.

Are girls allowed to train?

Naturally, since this does not require any physichal strength.

At what age can one start to practice?

there is practically no restriction. Between age 4-99, anyone is allowed to train aikido. In Japan, pensioneer aged beginners are not rare.

 Are there aikido competitions?

 No. aikido is not a sport. there are belt exams and demonstrations. that's it.

Can one take exams? What grades are there?

Yes, there is a progression system. there are 2 types of grades:

  • Kyu - apprentice grade (white and brown belt). Approx. the first 5-6 years.
  • Dan - intermediate, master level grades (black belt and hakama - traditional japanese clothing)

Does it hurt to take falls?

 It is not mandatory to take a fall, but it can be learned how to land painlessly in a matter of weeks.

What do I need to start?

In the beginning jogging trousers will be perfectly enough (it needs to be long), a t-shirt and a pair of slippers. Later, if one clearly decides to spend a longer time practicing aikido it is useful to get a dogi (a clothes for aikido training) and a bokken (wooden sword) and a jo (stick) as well.