Aikido FAQ's

Topic of choice: Aikido


Audience: Potential Students






1. How would you describe your topic?




Aikido is a Japanese martial art. This martial art was designed by Morehi Uyeshiba. Uyeshiba is often referred to as O Sensei. O Sensei studied several different ancient martial arts styles. Uyeshiba created Aikido as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and spiritual beliefs.




2. What does your topic entail? (Do you need anything for your topic?)




Any person initiating new fitness and/or martial arts training should be evaluated by a physician. Registration and release forms will be required of students. An Aikidogi is required for class. Athletic supporters are recommended for male students. Registration to the Fugakukai International Association is required.  




3. Who can participate in your topic?




Fugakukai Aikido is designed for adults. All adults fourteen and up may participate. Students with severe health issues should have a doctor’s release. Fugakukai is not appropriate for students under the age of fourteen. Joint locks taught can cause permanent tissue damage to those under fourteen.




4. From where does your topic originate?




Aikido and other Japanese martial arts descend from the ancient feudal arts of Japan. After and during World War II martial arts were taught in secret. Post World War II all martial arts were outlawed. Aikido was adopted from Aki-ryu, Daito-ryu, and Aiki-jujutsu. Uyeshiba studied these and various other martial arts and included these teachings in Aikido.




5. Why do people like your topic?




There are various benefits to the study of Aikido. All martial arts training can help foster self-discipline in students. Martial art training can also help people with ADD and ADHD. Aikido can also boost a person’s physical fitness level. Aikido training can boost both cardiovascular and skeletal-muscular development.




6. Does Aikido have competitions?




Fugakukai Aikido is a non-competitive form of Aikido. There are competitive forms of Aikido. Competition was removed from Fugakukai Aikido because it was felt to be detrimental to the self-defense aspects of the art. Students interested in competition should consider the study of Judo or Jujutsu. Competition for these arts is wildly available.   




7. Can Aikido be used for real street defense?




The Kihara Method was developed out of the art of Dr. Tomiki Kenji. Dr. Tomiki was a direct student of Uyeshiba but being a college professor, his studies of Aikido focused more on the logical physical dynamics of the art than mysticism. An American, Karl Geis Hanshi, studied Aikido with Dr. Tomiki in Japan for over a decade before returning to the United Stated with an entourage of Japanese masters to found the Fugakukai International Asscosiation. The Kihara Method is primarily focused on combat realism, principals and techniques taught have been diligently tested over the last 30 years to create a true system of self-defense.




8. How long does it take to master?




In Japanese martial arts, a sixth degree black belt is considered to be a master. The rank of Rokudan (sixth degree black belt) is only awarded after many years of arduous training. Many teachers of this rank would say that they are anything but masters and are only beginning to understand the art of Aikido. Generally it takes 25 to 30 years to attain this level of mastery. The youngest person to attain this rank was Nick Lowry, Shihan, who attained the rank in his thirties.




9. What does Aikido mean?




Aikido translates to, “The way of harmonious power”. The kanji for Ai means ‘harmony’. The kanji for ki means ‘power’. The kanji for do means ‘way’.




10. Are there any physical limitations?




Aikido can be modified for people with various physical limitations. The Kihara Method is based on physical dynamics and movement. It has been modified to accommodate people with severe physical limitations. It includes one man who received his black belt, who could not walk without the aid of crutches. The oldest person to achieve a black belt was 81 at the time of testing.


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