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Introduction to Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art based on nonviolent conflict resolution. Aikido was developed in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba (Osensei), who had mastered many martial arts and developed Aikido as a way to defend oneself and deepen one's spitual connection with the world while increasing peace rather than violence. In Aikido there are no tournaments or competitions: a key concept of Aikido is "True victory is victory over oneself". I'm fortunate to have a world-class dojo (Aikido of Santa Cruz) a 5-minute walk from my house. If you are ever in Santa Cruz I encourage you to come watch a class -- or take one! Otherwise find a dojo near you!

How I found Aikido

In late 2010, I was walking home late one night when I saw a building with "Aikido" written on the sign. I didn't know what that was but it sounded like a martial art. I walked up to the front door and there was a flyer posted. I read it and knew before I finished that I wanted to learn Aikido...or perhaps that I needed to learn Aikido. I signed up for the next beginner's class and now there's no turning back. You can download and print a PDF of the flyer here.


4th Kyu Exam

Here's a video of my exam:


5th Kyu Exam

Some photos from my 5th Kyu exam. Thanks to Mark Drewery, my uke (attacker, or the one who takes the falls).

Aikido throw

Aikido irime nage

Aikido shiho nage

Aikido throw

Aikido Ikkyo

Here's a video of my exam:


Aikido and geometry

-- Center (1 point): You are the center of your universe.

-- Line (2 points): Get off the line of attack.

-- Triangle (3 points): Stand in hanmi, your position of greatest balance, creating a triangle from two feet to your head.

-- Square (4 points): Two feet on the ground and two hands connecting with the attacker.

-- Circle (infinite points): Aikido motions and techniques trace circular patterns.

"Depending on the circumstance, you should be hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space." -- Osensei

Great aikido video