The grappling art of Aikido is a martial art that was once popular during the early 20th century. In modern times, it has fallen out of favor as people are practicing more effective martial arts.
But even so, we still want to give you the story of how the art of Aikido. Going over how it was developed, became internationally practiced, and shows whether it’s an effective form of self-defense.
The History of Aikido
By the look of Aikido, it would look like it’s a martial art that dates back centuries. But the martial art is actually around the same age as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The martial art was created by a Japanese martial artist named Morihei Ueshiba. He trained in a variety of different martial arts from jujutsu, swordsmanship, and spear fighting.
The specific form of jujutsu that Ueshiba trained in was Daito-ryu Aiki-jutsu under his instructor Sokaku Takeda. By the early 1920s, Ueshiba began to develop his own martial art from his previous experiences.
He would also incorporate various religious beliefs into his teachings such as Shinto, Omotokyo and other philosophical systems. Initially, Morihei would initially call his system “Aiki-Budo.” Ueshiba would later decide to call his system as we know it today by the name “Aikido.”
The name Aikido means “the way of harmony with the spirit .” A martial art where the focus is to take your opponent’s energy and redirect it into counters against them.
Grappling is the main aspect of the martial art using joint locks, throws, and immobilizations. Weapons training is also taught in many forms of Aikido from staffs, wooden swords, and knives.
In Aikido, your main goal is to move with your opponent’s energy in a fluid motion and counter their attacks. Developing a mixture of balance and timing to counter and immobilize an opponent.
The martial art also promotes spiritual growth and improvement of a student’s character. Striving to cultivate a sense of harmony and peace both on and off the mat.
Aikido was able to reach an international audience, which enabled it to be taught globally.
The Techniques of Aikido
The art of Aikido can be broken down into four different categories, which includes joint locks, throws, immobilizations, and weapons training.
- Throws: An emphasis on throws where practitioners use their opponent’s energy against them to take them to the ground.
- Joint Locks: Multiple types of joint locks are used to initiate throws and also on the ground.
- Immobilizations: Keeping your opponent prone and immobilized on the ground is the main principle of Aikido.
- Weapons Training: Aikido practitioners also practice weapons training in order to develop balance and fluidity.
Notable Aikido Practitioners
There’s a wide variety of notable Aikido practitioners throughout the history of the martial art. Here are some of the more known Aikido practitioners in the martial art’s history.
Kissoharu Ueshiba played a crucial role in the advancement of Aikido internationally. He took his father’s martial art and introduced it to numerous countries. Ueshiba founded the Aikikai Foundation, which firmly established the martial art’s international presence.
Shioda was one of Morihei’s top student’s who went on to found his own style called Yoshinkan Aikido. Notable for being a dynamic and powerful style of the martial art.
Moriteru Ueshiba is the current Doshu or head of the Aikido world. He is the grandson of the founder and is continuing to promote and practice his family’s martial art.
Then we couldn’t make this write-up without mentioning the most known practitioner of Aikido in Steven Seagal. Most people became aware of Aikido through action movies starring Steven Seagal.
He is arguably the most influential practitioner of the martial art right under the creator Ueshiba. No matter how you personally feel about Seagal, you have to give him credit for this.
Aikido Getting Exposed
Let us be brutally honest about the art of Aikido. It is an incredibly flawed self-defense system that has been exposed numerous times.
You can search Aikido vs. whatever martial art and you’ll likely see an Aikido practitioner getting pummeled. Here are some of the most viewed instances of Aikido practitioners getting exposed by other martial arts.
Delusional Aikido Practitioner Storms BJJ School
Most of you have probably seen clips of this video above. This delusional Aikido practitioner made numerous videos stating that Aikido was superior to BJJ. Stating that a BJJ practitioner could never beat a skilled Aikido practitioner.
One day, this person decided to test this theory and the result was the video above. He would repeatedly get beaten, call timeout before deciding to quit in the first five minutes.
Millions have watched these clips and have gotten a good laugh.
“Aikido Master” vs. MMA Fighter
This is a video from the Russian organization World Street Fighting Championship. In this bout a self proclaimed “Aikido master” takes on a seasoned MMA fighter.
The fight lasts less than a minute in which the MMA fighter easily dominates the Aikido practitioner. This video is currently around 3 million views.
Steven Seagal may be the best thing to happen to Aikido, as well as being the worst. At one time, he may have been a legitimate practitioner, but now he’s kind of a joke.
There’s hours of content online of Steven Seagal stories. From him assaulting stunt doubles to being put to sleep by Gene Labell.
If you’ve seen recent video demonstration videos like the one above, you’ll see Seagal doing fake martial arts. Barely if at all touching his partners and they go flying around the mat.
Seagal is a joke and he put a permanent black eye on the art of Aikido. One that it will probably never recover from.
Numerous Fake/Delusional Aikido Instructors
You can run into numerous compilation videos on the internet like this one above. Anytime a delusional or fake Aikido practitioner thinks they can beat a real martial artist, the same thing always happens. They get hurt badly and embarrassed for the world to see.
Aikido Really Effective?
Let’s be honest about the art of Aikido. It can be effective against people with no formal training, but that is about it.
Any BJJ blue belt or someone practicing Muay Thai or boxing for less than a year can beat an Aikido practitioner. The techniques are just not effective or realistic against more proven effective combat systems.
It’s a martial art with an interesting story, but not one that will not optimally improve your self-defense skills.