Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba, and is also known as “the Way of the harmonious spirit.” The goal of Aikido is to protect the practitioner from attackers, while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba, who studied older styles of jujutsu and other martial arts, especially Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu, which specialized in the application of joint techniques, to create the foundation of Aikido. Generally, the practice of Aikido presupposes non-resistance, non-violence, and non-aggression. The goal of Aikido is to protect the practitioner from attackers, while also protecting their attacker from injury. By practicing methods of attack and defense, the practitioner is trained to control the opponent without inflicting permanent harm. The practitioner learns to move harmoniously, responding to the opponent’s power and movements, in order to achieve maximum efficiency. For this reason, Aikido is often translated as “the way of harmonious spirit.”
Our Aikido style is known as Tomiki Aikido and is based on the work of Kenji Tomiki, who trained directly under Sensei Ueshiba and Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo. Sensei Tomiki was a 5th degree black belt in Judo when he began his training with Sensei Ueshiba. Sensei Tomiki, through many years of diligent practice would go on to earn the 8th degree black belt from Sensei Ueshiba. He was the first person to receive the highest degree from Sensei Ueshiba.
After he received the highest distinction, Sensei Tomiki studied and researched various martial arts and gradually came to believe that Aikido needed a randori (free practice/fighting) component similar to judo in order to develop the most effective techniques and resilient practitioners. This was the birth of Tomiki Aikido which combines a free sparring system that utilizes joint techniques, throws, as well as, a competition system for bare hands against knife attacks.
Nobuyoshi Higashi, the founder of the KBI, started training under Sensei Tomiki in 1960. With the guidance and encouragement of Sensei Tomiki, Nobuyoshi was a pioneer in spreading Aikido in the United States. Sensei Higashi introduced Aikido to the State University System of New York (Stony Brook) and in 1976 he established the United States Tomiki Association. Our Aikido and teaching philosophy comes directly from Sensei Tomiki, and of course, Sensei Ueshiba. Our school is one of the original Aikido schools in America, and to this day, we continue to train Aikido practitioners in the “way of harmonious spirit.”