What is Aiki?

Aiki is a Japanese martial arts principle in which the defender blends (without clashing) with the attacker, then goes on to control the assailant utilising internal energy. 


'Ai' in Japanese translates as 'joining' or 'coming together'. 'Ki' refers to internal energy. Together 'Aiki' means 'in sync with energy' or 'harmony of energy'. 


This concept relates to Aikido but can also be applied other martial arts such as Wing Chun, BJJ (Brazilian Jujitsu), Tai Chi and Systema. The idea is not to use brute force to overcome the attacker but to use their energy against them. 


The same idea applies for weapons. Aiki-Jo and Aiki-Ken refers to unity with the staff and sword and how the user becomes at one with the weapon rather than it being a seperate disjointed object. Some other weapon based martial art systems such as HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), Silat and Kungfu could also apply similar principles.


Other practitioners may also have a deeper psychological understanding of Aiki, which provides them with self awareness and enables them to understand themselves better.



"Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled"


Tokimune Takeda