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History of Aikido
Aikido Compared to...

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
- Bruce Lee


Aikido is a Japanese martial discipline for training the mind, body and spirit. It is an art of personal refinement where technique is not an objective but a tool of mental, physical, and spiritual growth. At the core philosophy of Aikido are two fundamental threads: a commitment to peaceful conflict resolution whenever possible and a commitment to self-improvement through practice.

In the words of Aikido's Founder, "The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself. He who has gained the secret of Aikido has the universe in himself and can say, 'I am the universe.' I am never defeated, however fast the enemy may attack. It is not because my technique is faster than that of the enemy. It is not a question of speed. The fight is finished before it is begun."

Aikido has four primary branches of practice that all go back to the fundamental teachings of the Founder. The first branch is Aikikai formalized by O' Sensei's son Kisshomaru Ueshiba. Recognized by the Japanese government in 1940, the Aikikai Foundation (Aikido World Headquarters) is the parent organization for the development and popularization of Aikido throughout the world. This is the branch of Aikido practiced at Pikes Peak Aikikai.

The second branch was formalized under Gozo Shioda. The Yoshinkan method of technique and teaching has been refined continuously since 1955. This "style" of Aikido is occasionally called the hard style because the training methods are a product of the gruelling period Shioda Sensei spent as a student of Ueshiba. Yoshinkan Aikido has some 150 basic techniques which are practiced repeatedly, these enable the student to master the remaining ones, which total some 3000 overall.

The third branch of Aikido was founded in 1967 by Professor Kenji Tomiki. Tomiki Sensei studied under Ueshiba's personal direction for over a decade, and was such a diligent student that he was the first deshi to whom Ueshiba ever awarded a Menkyo, the much sought after teaching credential of the promotion systems of old style Japanese martial arts. Tomiki Aikido is probably recognized most by the fact that they are the one branch of Aikido that holds and participates in competitions resulting from Tomiki Sensei's Judo background (9th Dan) and his desire to apply the Judo training methodology of Judo to Aikido.

The fourth branch of Aikido, Ki no Kenkyukai or Ki Society, was founded by Koichi Tohei Sensei in 1971. Ki-Aikido characterized by its emphasis on Ki and the union of technique and philosophy. Where the other branches seem on the surface to to focus on technique as way to philosophical understanding of the world around us, Ki Aikido seems to take the opposite approach by studying the philosophy and applying those lessons to technique.