What Is Chendokan Aikido?
Who Founded Chendokan Aikido?
Learn About Aikido History.
Uchi Deshi
Law Enforcement
Class and Seminar Listings
Join Now!
Browse Our Image Gallery.
Contact Us
Can't Find What You Are Looking For?
Visit The School of Atemi-Ryu

Elements of Training In Aikido

The following are the elements of training in the different components that make up the art of Aikido. Your Sensei will impart instruction in the actual technical details of these elements both in class and through specialized seminars.

WARM UPS AND PREPARATORY EXERCISES: For maximum benefit, warm up individually before the beginning of class. At times an organized group warm up may be led by a senior student or the Sensei himself. Warm up exercises are to be done dynamically but relaxed, always coordinating your breathing with the exercise. The techniques of Aikido themselves can provide an adequate warm up when performed at a lower intensity.

UKEMI: Ukemi (literally "catch your body") is the art of safely receiving the force of the techniques applied to you; including rolling and falling techniques. Ukemi is often neglected by beginners, who find it difficult and prefer to practice the techniques of self defense failing to recognize that Ukemi is training in self defense. Ukemi is the ability to survive any technique. It must be remembered that without good Ukemi skills, Aikido dies. Without the ability to safely practice Ukemi, we cannot train. Devote your energy to mastering good Ukemi. It is invariably found that the student who is a skilled Uke (person receiving the technique and falling) also has the skill to become a skilled Nage (thrower) by feeling the dynamics of a technique applied to you, you will learn to apply the techniques to others more effectively.

PRESSURE POINT TECHNOLOGY: The use of pressure points in the school are inherent in all the techniques. They are used by practitioners to facilitate the momentary unbalancing or controlling of an opponent. On the other hand, pressure points are also used to bring the body back to its natural balanced state. New students are required to participate in the introductory pressure point seminar which outlines the basics of the art.

AIM-TAISO: These "Aiki Exercises" are designed to teach proper body alignment and use. Their usefulness, if practiced correctly cannot be overestimated. They should be practiced in a dynamic and spirited manner.

TAI-SABAKI: These body movement exercises can be practiced alone or with a partner and provide the foundation of your technical training. Practiced correctly, they will give you the ability to move freely and naturally in any direction when attacked. Techniques cannot be applied if Tai-Sabaki is insufficient or timed incorrectly. When practicing Tai-Sabaki, maintain your complete concentration on your opponent at all times, during and in between movements. Allow no gaps in your awareness or opening in your posture. Move irresistibly and immediately control your opponent's center line, matching his or her timing. Tai Sabaki Ho will include both Tai Sabaki Toshu, or empty handed exercises, and Tai Sabaki with Bokken (wooden practice sword). You should immediately see the relationship between these two when practicing them. The school has organized a series of Tai Sabaki exercises which are to be practiced throughout one's lifetime and are the core study of the beginning student.

WAZA: Waza are the formal techniques of Aikido. It must be remembered that all waza are ideal attacks and defend situations; they are the vehicles through which Aikido is transmitted from teacher to student. It is up to the student, however, to give life to these forms and ultimately transcend them. They are not rigid rules of combat-they are guidelines which will bring the student after extensive training to his or her own Aikido. No two students are exactly alike, and so everyone will naturally develop an Aikido that suits them. O'Sensei is reported to have said, "Aikido has no techniques." One meaning of this is that the student must not destroy Aikido by limiting it to this or that form; rather, the student should seek always to grasp the internal principles of Aikido, and to manifest them moment to moment. Through the diligent practice of form, grasp the ultimate principle of going beyond form. This can be said to be the ultimate goal of the martial artist. Your study of Aikido Waza will include:

Kihon-Waza: Fundamental or basic techniques
Nage-Waza: Throwing techniques
Katame-Waza: Locking and pinning techniques
Aikijudo-Waza: Techniques of harmony/gentleness
Ushiro-Waza: Defense against attach from the rear
Atemi-Waza: Techniques of striking pressure points
Kaeshi-Waza: Methods of countering an opponent's technique
Henka-Waza: Methods of freely switching from one technique to another
Oyo-Waza: Advanced techniques
Buki-Waza: Weapon techniques

The above are further classified according to circumstance as:

Tachi-Waza: Standing techniques
Suwari-Waza: Seated techniques
Hanmi-hantachi Waza: Seated technique, defending against standing attacks.
Jiyu-Waza: Freestyle technique

KOGEKI: Refers to the methods of attacking in Aikido which are closely related to striking in the performance of technique. When you train with your partners you must have the ability and the skill to attack fully-otherwise, your partner will never gain the ability to defend against true attacks. The 2 components of successful Kogeki are: Attaining proper attacking distance (Maai) and being hones with the attack. Honesty does not mean speed or power. It simply refers to an attack reaching its intended destination. It is possible and desirable (specially with beginners) to go slow and be honest simultaneously. Kogeki prepares the student for any attack, from any direction.

RANDORI: Randori literally means to "seize chaos". This is the practice of defense against multiple attackers for which Aikido is famous. Randori is the ultimate test of your understanding of Aikido principle, and especially your Tat Sabaki. The strategies for Randori will be imparted to you by your instructor. It must be stressed here that Randori must be practiced safely: both Uke and Nage "must hold back slightly" to avoid injury. This means that Nage will throw or move in such a way that the Uke will be able to jump up to return and attack continuously. It also means that Nage will tire at this "endless" supply of attackers, and must eventually fail: HOWEVER, Nage's state of mind must always be one of survival. Both Uke and Nage must take care to not injure each other carelessly. They must both appreciate the kindness they are showing to each other, and take full advantage of this excellent training opportunity.

BUKI-WAZA: Buki-Waza is weapons technique using the three traditional weapons: the Jo (4FT staff), the Bokken (wooden sword), and the Tanto (wooden Knife). The AJK school also features the stick (referred to as the "Aiki-Sticks") for its practicality in teaching principles and for actual self defense. The skills learned in weapons practice-timing, distance, dynamic movement, focus, intensity, and energy extension, etc. are invaluable to empty hand technique. As you train you will see the close relationship between weapons and empty hand training. Do not neglect weapons practice because it seems difficult or outdated. Its benefits are beyond measure, and is part of Aikido tradition. Weapons training must always stress safety, a wooden training weapon can injure or kill as easily as a live blade. Always treat the training weapons as if they were real, and take pains to observe proper etiquette of handling and use. This will also help you to develop and attitude of seriousness and purpose in your training. Weapons training for the Jo, Bokken, and Aiki-sticks will include:

Stances and methods of holding
Suburi: Also striking practice
Kata: Prearranged forms
Kumi (Jo, Bokken sticks): Paired forms, weapon against weapon
Dori: Unarmed defense against weapons
Nage: Throwing or defending with the weapon against unarmed attack

INTERNAL TRAINING: Refers to the practice of Ki tests, breathing exercises (Kokyu-ho) and meditation (Meiso-ho), as well as the practice of Kokyu-dosa. These training methods are meant to cultivate the psycho-physical attributes necessary for the practice of Aikido as a Budo, martial way. The practice of these internal training methods is of utmost importance in Aikido training.

Ki Tests are methods of testing your postural and mental stability, degree of tension and relaxation, and understanding of basic Aikido technical principles. These tests may be given at any time; usually prior to an AJK promotion test. They are administered during the performance of Aiki-Taiso exercises and the demonstration of basic Aikido postures. You will find these in your Promotional Test Requirements under the heading of "Ki Tests".

Kokyu-ho includes the following:

Ki breathing: the breathing practice which involves deep, prolonged exhalations form the hara (abdomen) and controlled inhalations through the nose.

Kiai: the practice which involves explosive exhalations form the hara with vocalization

Ibuki: the practice which involves explosive exhalations from the hara without vocalization

Meiso-ho is a practice of meditation through which the student develops mindfulness and joriki, or the power of focused concentration. This method involves techniques of developing a deeper awareness of mental processes. There are many types of mediation, but in order to have an application to Budo, the method you use must stress wakeful awareness of yourself and your surroundings, rather than the development of trances of sleep-like states.

Kokyu-dosa is an exercise in which you will sit in seiza facing your partner and extend your arms. Your partner will grasp them, and attempt to resist your efforts to unbalance him or her. This exercise calls for the proper use of the hara and breathing, and will also help develop proper use of the body, breath and energy. Another variation of this is Renzoku Kokyu-dosa, which involves continuous movement.

HEALING ARTS: Without a doubt, man's natural state is one of health. When an imbalance is created withing the mind or body, it results in disease. While all martial artists are interested in self defense, rarely do they consider defending themselves against the factors that could bring them poor health. The school believes that as part of a complete integrated approach, students should learn how to take responsibility for their health and how they can assist the body's process of natural healing. While we do not intend to make healers out of anyone or replace medical care, we do educate our students on the basic theory and practice of preventive health maintenance.

AIKI-FITNESS: For the martial artist, optimal health and fitness should be a given. It should be a natural by-product of their training. However, today that is hardly the case. While many people turn to the martial arts for fitness, participation a few times per week will not keep them at their best. Hence, we introduced Aiki-Fitness: The Art and Science of Mind & Body Fitness. This component of the curriculum teaches students how to exercise to improve their Aikido, how to eat for optimal performance, how to recuperate from daily activity and in general, how to go beyond mere average health status into a state of optimal health and performance.

About Chendokan Aikido
Categories of Attacks
Training with Injuries
The Hakama

back to top



About Chendokan Aikido | Creator/Founder | Aikido History | Uchi Deshi | Law Enforcement Schedules | Register | Gallery | Contact Us | Directions | Sitemap | Home | Visit Atemi-Ryu.com

Designs by NI4U © updated June 2005 Atemi-Ryu All Rights Reserved
Best viewed at desktop resolution of 1024 X 768.
Click here for instructions on how to reset desktop resolution.

Visit the School of Atemi-Ryu HOME