The Power of Aiki Principles - Aikido Articles

Principles are the key lessons you will learn from any study or activity you take part in. If you get too bogged down in the details you will overload your system, which stops you from having a positive experience.

If you are making a serious study of Aikido, then it is going to take you many years to master it. Yes you do have to study all of the fine details involved in your training. But, if you ask yourself (and your instructor)...

What are the Key Aiki Principles I need to learn from this?

You see, the aim is to free your mind so you can perform your aikido techniques in a flowing, relaxed but powerful way. Using Aiki principles, you can free your mind and let most of it go, causing you to relax deeply.

Aiki Principles teach a deeper understanding of Aikido. The aim of Aiki is to lead the mind and the body will follow. As an instructor the best way to lead the mind of your students is through motivation, inspiration, encouragement, and discipline.

What did the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei practise on a daily basis? After all that is what he thought was most important... right?

During his personal training he would perform a series of Aiki exercises, Misogi purification rituals, Kototama sound vibration chants, and many hours of pure prayer to divine spirit.

Which of these do you practise?

If you are thinking of joining an Aikido class, are a student or an instructor you will be working on a variety of ways to control your attackers through the use of their own energy. This may be a typical class structure that you will be or are working on to develop your skills...

Aiki Class Blueprint

Rei (bow), mokusu (breathing meditation), warm-up, ukemi (breakfalls), basic postures, basic/advanced/applied techniques, kokyu nage (breath throw), kokyu ho (harmonising exercises), cool-down, mokusu, rei.

It is essential to instill discipline in students regardless of the qualities and characteristics they bring to the Dojo (training hall). Discipline is often something the ego does not enjoy, but could save lives one day.

Assessing Students Ability

Etiquette, attitude, mindset, discipline, effort, concentration, relaxation, ma-ai (distance), evasion, ki-ai (shout), atemi (distracting strike), balance-taking, immobilisation (control), throw, kamae (posture) kihon (basic moves), ukemi (breakfalls), waza (technique), jiyu-Waza (freestyle technique), awareness of surrounding environment, coaching Potential.

There are many principle lessons learned during your aikido training, and here are some of the tools I have used to improve my training experience, and ability to evade and deal with attackers...

Breath control, non-resistance, balance taking, circles, leading the mind, energy extension, ki development, mind moves body - keep one point, relax, extend ki, hara - centre of gravity, centralisation, weight shifting, sudden weight dropping, power of intention.

Don't try to make it work - let it work - just do it, connection, pain incentive, avoid direct conflict, allow, angles of pressure, triangulation points, double-weighting, Weight Shifting and Dropping, relax/tense, vibration, creating a void, change of pace, acceleration, penetration, belief, think through target,etc.

There are 3 methods of training...

  • 1 - Gathering techniques.
  • 2 - Analyzing posture.
  • 3 - Studying principles

In my opinion they are all important, but working on and understanding a few principles well, will give you the ability to control a real attacker easily.


Well, in reality, in the heat of the moment, a real combat situation will shut down your ability to think straight. The hundreds of techniques you have in your arsenal are unlikely to be available to you.

BUT, if you have mastered just 3-5 Aiki principles, then your subconscious will respond, as necessary, without your conscious mind getting in the way... this is true power!

Tony Wilden
Aikido Health Centre

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Aikido is a modern Japanese Martial Art and is very different from disciplines such as Karate, Kick Boxing, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, MMA, BJJ, Kempo and Krav Maga where there is emphasis on kicking, punching or wrestling.

Aikido is an extremely efficient self defence (also as Self-Defence Women London) system utilising balance-taking and posture-breaking movements to achieve joint locks, pins and throws. It contains elements of Ju Jitsu, Kendo, Judo and other budo.

Aikido Classes are held every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at our Harrow dojo, and Thursday evening at our Pinner dojo in NW London. Pinner Aikido Club London is a part of the Kai Shin Kai International Traditional Aikido Association (KSK), which is a member of the Aikido Alliance.

Aikido is essentially a non-violent Martial art system that encourages the avoidance of confrontation and harmony with an aggressor. The classes are well attended with Aikido students always on the mat and aimed at all levels, from beginner to advanced but everyone is welcome to come along regardless of fitness or experience.

Our Aikido students work at their own pace during the training sessions and no one is forced into doing anything they are not comfortable with.
Pinner Aikido Club in London can help you achieve self-defense skills, self-esteem, confidence, and fitness. Most of all though, our classes are fun.

You do not have to be competitive or naturally athletic to take part in the Aikido class. Learning Aikido is about self-improvement and self-confidence.

Regardless of your size, body type and current level of physical ability or disability. If you are looking for a healthier, more confident way of life, then the modern art of Aikido may well be for you.

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