Aikido (合気道; translated as "The Way of Unifying (with) Life Energy" or as "The Way of Harmonious Spirit) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs, with the goal to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion.
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the Aikidōka (Aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.
Although attacks are not studied as thoroughly as in striking-based arts, sincere attacks (a strong strike or an immobilizing grab) are needed to study correct and effective application of technique. Many of the strikes (打ち; uchi) of Aikido resemble cuts from a sword or other grasped object (which indicate its origins in techniques intended for armed combat), while ther techniques, which explicitly appear to be punches (突き; tsuki), are practiced as thrusts with a knife or a sword. Kicks are generally reserved for upper-level variations: reasons cited include that falls from kicks are especially dangerous.
Aikido makes use of body movement to blend with the opponent. For example, an "entering" (入り身; irimi) technique consists of movements inward towards the opponent, while a "turning" (転換; tenkan) technique uses a pivoting motion. Additionally, an "inside" (内; uchi) technique takes place in front of the opponent, whereas an "outside" (外; soto) technique takes place to his side; a "front" (表; omote) technique is applied with motion to the front of him, and a "rear" (裏; ura) version is applied with motion towards the his rear, usually by incorporating a turning or pivoting motion. Thus, from fewer than twenty basic techniques, there are thousands of possible implementations.
Atemi (当て身) are strikes (or feints) employed during an Aikido technique. Some view atemi as attacks against "vital points" meant to cause damage in and of themselves, while others consider atemi, especially to the face, to be methods of distraction meant to enable other techniques. A strike, whether or not it is blocked, can startle the target and break his or her concentration. The target may become unbalanced in attempting to avoid the blow, for example by jerking the head back, which may allow for an easier throw.
In the Tekken games
Nina Williams and Anna Williams are Aikido pratictioners in the series. Storyline-wise, their mother was a British Aikido champion, while their father was a former assassin who implemented Koppojutsu in his assassination techniques. Their fighting style is a blending of these two martial arts.
The influence of Aikido in their moveset is represented by their chained throws and reversal moves. For example, many of Nina's throws involve the use of ikkyo (一教) and other basic wristlock leverages, while in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 her special tag throw with Anna is a combined Shiho-Nage.
Geese Howard uses Aikido as basis for his reversal attacks, such as Atemi Nage. However, he utilizes the martial arts together with his composite style Kobujutsu and another style, Hakkyousen.
- Geese Howard - Used in tandem with Kobujutsu and Hakkyousen.
- Mokujin - Through mimicry.
- Tetsujin - Through mimicry.
- Combot - Tekken 4 only; through mimicry.
- Kinjin - Through mimicry.
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- Aikido at Wikipedia.