How is Aikido different from other martial arts?
Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art based on the principle of non-resistance. Aikido is not a sport. There are no competitive tournaments. Practitioners learn in cooperative manner, taking turns as attackers and defenders in an energetic yet studious atmosphere. The attacker is subdued using a variety of throws and joint locking techniques rather than potentially crippling punches or kicks.
Is great strength required to be effective?
Aikido is a highly effective form of self-defense that does not require great size or strength to perform because an attacker’s own force is used against him.In Aikido we never resist the power of an attack head on. Instead, we yield and redirect the initial attack using dynamic circular movements to unbalance the assailant.
Is there a ranking system?
The ranking requirements in aikido, as in many other Japanese martial arts, adopts a standard Kyu-Dan system. The United States Aikido Federation (USAF) follows the convention of six Kyu ranks (white belt) followed by eight Dan ranks (black belt). For each rank there is a minimum number of practice days that are prerequisite for testing. Unlike many competitive martial arts, however, testing for rank in aikido is not mandatory. Nevertheless it is an effective way to gauge your skills and technical proficiency in the art, formalizing your training experience and progress.
Can aikido be used for self defense?
Yes, aikido is designed for self defense, although it takes longer to become proficient at it than other martial arts.