of life in harmony with internal energy”, uses the energy and momentum of the
attacker to defeat them with little effort while preventing injury to the
attacker. Promoting peace and harmony is a major component in Aikido. This is
one reason Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O Sensei,
great teacher, in the early 20th century. Ueshiba studied a martial
art called Aiki-Jujutsu under one Takeda Sokaku. Ueshiba also studied Ju-Jutsu
as well as the weapon arts of sword (Ken-Jutsu) and staff (Jo). Ueshiba derived
Aikido from these main influences.
The practice of Aikido includes ukemi (falling), movement (tenkan), striking technique, ki development, grab and strike defenses, and classical techniques designed to teach the basic principles. Practitioners of Aikido (Aikidoka) will also add weapons use and defense to their repertoire. The weapon aspects learned throughout Aikido training are the Jo, Ken (Sword), Hambo (Short staff) and Tanto (Knife). Aikido is performed by utilizing circular movements while blending with and redirecting the energy of an attacker resulting in kazushi (off-balance) and a throw or joint-lock for control. The training involved with Aikido is just as mental as it is physical. Aikido emphasizes the ability to relax mind and body, especially during stressful situations such as multiple attackers. Aikido by itself can be a very effective form of self-defense.
“In Aikido we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it”. - Morihei Ueshiba
Iai-Jutsu, “Art of Drawing the Sword”, focuses on withdrawing the katana from the saya (scabbard) with speed and accuracy to prepare for battle or to cut the opponent immediately after drawing the sword. Equally as important is learning to return the katana to its saya in a graceful and disciplined manner. This is practiced via drawing and sheathing drills, striking drills, and katas or "forms". The katas promote the development of accuracy, speed and power while maintaining focus and awareness. Iai-Jutsu is the practical, combat method of controlling a sword.
Ken-Jutsu, “Sword Art of War”, emphasizes use of the katana once it is unsheathed and ready for battle. With this art, effective striking and blocking techniques are stressed to teach one to defend against an oppenent with another katana, jo staff, sai or any other weapon in era of the Samurai. Also involved is the use of the Wakizashi (Short Sword) and the Tanto (Knife) as well as numerous disarming techniques aimed at defeating a combatant.
These are the sword arts of the Samurai. Both of these arts are studied together for true proficiency. All of the cuts and movements are designed to teach someone to move, defend and cut down an attacker with speed and efficiency. Although the need for the Samurai is now extinct, the arts they trusted with their lives will live on through the martial artists of today. Learning the way of the sword will greatly supplement current and existing martial arts training. Along with use of the katana, nomenclature, sword cleaning, ukemi (falling) and physical conditioning are expected in training. Learning the sword arts requires much discipline, determination and focus.
“If you wish to control others you must first control yourself; If you do not control the enemy, the enemy will control you” - Miyamoto Musashi, author of the Book of Five Rings.
Kempo-Jutsu, “Fist Law Art of War”, is the striking and blocking art of the Samurai. The Samurai used Kempo-Jutsu as a means of defending themselves on the battlefield in the event they were unarmed or disarmed during combat. Kempo is used mainly in conjunction with Ju-Jutsu as a means of disabling an opponent in order to more easily implement joint-locks and throws. Kempo is very direct and serves as an effective martial art for self-defense.
Kempo uses a wide variety of blocks and strikes designed to debilitate an attacker. Defenses against all strikes, grabs and weapons are practiced. Standing and ground defense tactics are taught as well. During the training process, a student will expect striking and blocking drills, ki and body conditioning exercises, sparring and physical training activities to promote health, power and strength.
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee
Ju-Jutsu, "Gentle Art of War", is comprised of joint-locks, throws, grappling and submissions aimed at destroying an opponent. Used in conjunction with Kempo-Jutsu, Ju-Jutsu was utilized by the Samurai for survival in the event of battle without the accompaniment of weapons. This art is associated with the well-known
sport of Judo. The main difference between the arts is sport vs.
survival. Judo is performed by throwing your opponent with proper kazushi (off-balance) and or making them submit to a lock or hold. Ju-jutsu is Judo except that it focuses on forcing an attacker to the ground with an intent to injure and
concentrating on vital areas of the body to achieve victory.
Ju-jutsu is practiced by learning proper falling techniques, kazushi and leverage. Throwing and kazushi drills will hone your coordination skills and will increase you speed, power and stamina. Along with weapons defense, grappling and ground-based fighting is pertinent to Ju-Jutsu and is relavent to basic self-defense as well since physical confrontations can quickly and easily end up on the ground.
"You win battles by knowing the enemy's timing, and using a timing which the enemy does not expect." - Miyamoto Musashi