Physical Training

Physical Training
cr: AikiComics

The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as specific techniques. Because a substantial portion of any aikido curriculum consists of throws, beginners learn how to safely fall or roll. The specific techniques for attack include both strikes and grabs; the techniques for defense consist of throws and pins. After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and techniques with weapons.

Aikido training is based primarily on two partners practicing pre-arranged forms (kata) rather than freestyle practice. The basic pattern is for the receiver of the technique (uke) to initiate an attack against the person who applies the technique—the 取り tori, or shite 仕手 (depending on aikido style), also referred to as 投げ nage (when applying a throwing technique), who neutralises this attack with an aikido technique.

Body Art

Some body techniques includes:

  • First technique (一教 (教), ikkyō), a control technique using one hand on the elbow and one hand near the wrist which leverages uke to the ground.This grip applies pressure into the ulnar nerve at the wrist.
  • Second technique (二教, nikyō) is a pronating wristlock that torques the arm and applies painful nerve pressure. (There is an adductive wristlock or Z-lock in the ura version.)
  • Third technique (三教, sankyō) is a rotational wristlock that directs upward-spiraling tension throughout the arm, elbow and shoulder.
  • Fourth technique (四教, yonkyō)is a shoulder control technique similar to ikkyō, but with both hands gripping the forearm. The knuckles (from the palm side) are applied to the recipient’s radial nerve against the periosteum of the forearm bone.
  • Fifth technique (五教, gokyō)is a technique that is visually similar to ikkyō, but with an inverted grip of the wrist, medial rotation of the arm and shoulder, and downward pressure on the elbow. Common in knife and other weapon take-aways.
  • Four-direction throw’ (四方投げ, shihōnage) is a throw during which ukes hand’ is folded back past the shoulder, locking the shoulder joint.
  • Forearm return (小手返し, kotegaeshi) is a supinating wristlock-throw that stretches the extensor digitorum.
  • Breath throw (呼吸投げ, kokyūnage) is a loosely used umbrella term for various types of mechanically unrelated techniques; kokyūnage generally do not use joint locks like other techniques.
  • Entering throw (入身投げ, iriminage), throws in which tori moves through the space occupied by uke. The classic form superficially resembles a “clothesline” technique.
  • Heaven-and-earth throw (天地投げ, tenchinage), a throw in which, beginning with ryōte-dori, moving forward, tori sweeps one hand low (“earth”) and the other high (“heaven”), which unbalances uke so that he or she easily topples over.
  • Hip throw (腰投げ, koshinage), aikido’s version of the hip throw; tori drops their hips lower than those of uke, then flips uke over the resultant fulcrum.
  • Figure-ten throw (十字投げ, jūjinage) or figure-ten entanglement (十字絡み, jūjigarami), a throw that locks the arms against each other (the kanji for “10” is a cross-shape: 十).
  • Rotary throw’ (回転投げ, kaitennage) is a throw in which tori sweeps ukes arm back until it locks the shoulder joint, then uses forward pressure to throw them.


We practise weapons at Warwick Aikido with   , bokken, and tantō.