Goals and principles

Step 1: Prepare - define your goal

  1. Define the goal of your class by answering these questions:

    • What do I want to do?

    • What will participants get out of this class? What will they learn?

    • What principles am I going to use to reach the goal?

  2. Select a goal / principle from the following list, then select a more specific goal or principle to open a page with available exercises.

  3. Do you have a great training goal or a principle that is not listed on this page? Share it with us by completing this form.

Training Goals

Click a goal from one of the categories listed below. It will take you to a page with relevant exercises. We recommend setting only one goal per training that is connected to one or two principles.

  • Mindfulness

  • Cope with resistance

  • Body posture, balance, stability

  • Endurance, speed, explosiveness, strength

  • Ukemi

  • Redirect attacker’s energy

  • Find a good position

  • Prevent impact

  • Inclusiveness

  • Trust

  • Roleplaying (bully-victim-bystanders)

  • Cope with and confrontation

  • Self-defence

  • Body language and non-verbal communication

  • Working with fear

  • Coping with stressful situation

Aikido Principles

There are many principles that you can use during your class. We recommend only selecting one principle, so that students do not overthink. Please only use the principles you understand and have mastered.

Immovable Principles (fudo genri)

Unity of body, mind and spirit

    • Concentrate on the center. Calmly focus the awareness on seika tanden/dantien (energy point)

    • Feel the Ki in any movement and extend it. Use the mental image of an unbendable arm with a feeling of lively energy coursing through the arm from the center and extending out to infinity through the fingertips.

    • Keep weight underside. Let the body relax as if all your flesh was liquid. Let your weight settle down at the lowest points possible, and you will be much more stable and your movements far more effective.

    • Empty mind (mushin). Don't get fixed or occupied by thought and emotion. Be open to everything.

Basic Principles (kihon genri)

Movement principles that follow the Aiki or universe natural law

    • Center line (chushin) - move from your own center line. Connect to uke and bring him into your center line. Do not move his center line separate from yours.

    • Focus power (shuchu), which starts in the mind and flows into the body.

    • Breath power (kokyu), which connects the energy of the body and the physical aspects.

    • Circular movement (enshin) or more precisely, spiralling. You can spiral inwards or outwards.

Energy Principles (aiki genri)

Energy principles, essential in resolving conflict

    • Blending (awase). Physically matching with incoming force, not avoiding or fighting it. The body leads the mind.

    • Connection (musubi). Mindfully harmonizing with the attack by building a sense of connection. The mind leads the body.

    • Fluidity (nagare). Joining with a partner's energy and moving synergistically without stops or confrontations.

    • Creation (takemusu). Spontaneously creating and effectively using Aikido techniques in any given situation.

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