Aikido Kokikai

University of Chicago

what is aikido kokikai?

Kokikai Aikido is a self-defense art that uses throws and pins to defend against striking and grabbing attacks. One moves out of the way of an attack and simultaneously uses the attack's momentum to unbalance and redirect the attacker. In other words, Kokikai Aikido uses timing, evasion, and redirection, not great physical strength in order to neutralize an attack.

Kokikai Aikido has a minimalist aesthetic expressed as "minimum effort for maximum effect"; in Kokikai, the ideal technique is the most natural and comfortable one, requiring the least movement and the least energy. Kokikai is also a modern school of Aikido; our techniques continually evolve and become more effective against realistic attacks.

Kokikai Aikido has no competitions, matches, or weight classes. Men and women of different ages, sizes, and levels of experience can practice together comfortably. Practice is at the student's pace, so that everyone can enjoy Kokikai Aikido, not only the young and physically fit.

In addition to self-defense techniques, students learn to roll safely and comfortably. Students also learn movement exercises that improve balance, coordination, gracefulness, and posture, as well as deep breathing and meditation exercises that improve calmness, relaxation, and concentration. Practice also includes training with tanto (wooden knife), bokken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden staff).

A typical class begins with warm-ups, followed by Ki Development Exercises; the remainder of the class concentrates on self-defense techniques. Each technique is demonstrated by the instructor and practiced by the class in partners or groups.

ki development

In Kokikai Aikido we want to be so in control of ourselves and the attacker that we can throw or pin without causing injury. But when the mind is agitated or upset, it's difficult to concentrate or think clearly; when the body is tense or awkwardly positioned, it's difficult to move easily and gracefully. Therefore, Kokikai Aikido emphasizes mind-body coordination (also known as ki) and aims to develop each person's best state of mind and body: calm with a positive mind and relaxed with good posture. Since Kokikai Aikido improves one's ability to remain calm and relaxed under stress, it is as beneficial for everyday life as for self-defense.

basic principles

All movement in Kokikai Aikido is approached from the basic principles.

The exploration of these principles allows for growth throughout a practicioner's life. As one comes closer to understanding the basic principles, one is able to generate good feeling under any circumstance, and expressions of this good feeling are found in techniques, attitude, conversations, and daily life.