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Qu'est ce que l'Aïkido ?

calligraphie aikido

Aï : Unify, Harmony

Ki : Energy

Do : The way, the path

Aïkido: the way of the union of Energies...

Aikido is a Budo, a traditional Japanese martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the 20th century.

Aikido is neither a sport nor a combat sport, even if it is essentially defensive against one or several "aggressors".

Aikido is the neutralization of the aggressiveness of the partner without damaging his physical and mental integrity.

But this discipline is not only physical. Its founder gave it a philosophical and spiritual scope that is almost unique in the world of martial arts.


Aikido is practiced with bare hands or armed with a bokken (wooden sword), a jo (stick) or tanto (wooden knife), standing or kneeling.


Just like music or any other art, Aikido is studied, step by step, thanks to formal techniques, then with experience and dexterity, a freedom of action settles in the practitioner to become an extremely effective fluid art.

The founder Morihei UESHIBA

Born in 1883 in Tanabe, Japan, Morihei Ueshiba practiced physical activities such as Sumo and swimming at an early age. At the age of 20, he started Ju-Jutsu as well as Ken-Jutsu (sword).


He joined the army in 1903 and showed a particular aptitude for Juken-Jutsu (bayonet fighting).


In February 1915, during a trip he met the great Master of the Daito School: Sokaku Takeda. The latter decided to teach him the secret techniques of Daitoryu. Upon his return, he opened a dojo and invited Master Takeda. He built a house for him and took care of him completely.


Not finding a purpose in the purely physical practice of his study, he decided to follow the reverend Onisaburo Deguchi of the Omoto religion for 8 years. His study became more and more spiritual.


From the ancient techniques of Ju-Jutsu of the Daito and Yagyu schools, a new martial art is born, which he decides to call Aïki-Bujutsu, but will be popularized under the name Ueshiba Ryu Aïki-Jujutsu, in which he will add sword techniques.


It is from all these encounters and technical or philosophical experiences that Aikido was born.


He understood that the true Budo is not to defeat an opponent by force but to keep peace in this world, to accept and encourage the blossoming of all beings. Although the spiritual quest is present in all Japanese martial arts, no one had ever deepened it to the point of encompassing the love of humanity.


After the Second World War, Aikido was the first martial art that was allowed to resume practice because of its pacifist tendency.

From then on, the number of students increased, and it was at this time that the modern form of Aikido was really born.

In the years 1950-60, it was his students who spread his knowledge by opening many dojos in Japan and in the world.


In 1969, at the age of 86, his health deteriorated and he died on April 26. Translated with (free version)

Mitsugi SAOTOME, Shihan

Mitsugi SAOTOME Shihan is one of the last Uchi Deshi (permanent student) of the founder of Aikido Morihei Ueshiba. 

He was his student for more than 15 years to become, at the end of the 60s, one of the teachers at the Hombu Dojo until 1975 when he decided to live in the United States to found the Aikido School of Ueshiba. He opened the Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington D.C. in the 80s.

In 1995, he moved to Florida where he built a "dojo-temple" dedicated to O Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba) where he decided to make an Aikido University for teachers, but continued to teach in Washington D.C. about eight weeks a year.


His background in judo-ka and karate-ka as well as his passion for weapons make Saotome Sensei Shihan's practice and teaching comprehensive and demanding. He emphasizes the effectiveness of Aikido but also links its practice to everyday life, both in the movements and in the sincere and honest attitude to adopt.


He has been leading seminars in France for more than 25 years, including 18 at the International Seminar in Le Vigan organized by the Aikido Harmonie association. 

He is the author of several books including "Nature and Harmony" and "The Principles of Aikido".


Hiroshi IKEDA, Shihan

Ikeda Hiroshi was born in 1950. He teaches aikido in the United States. He holds the rank of 7th dan, awarded by Saotome Sensei and by the Aikikai of Tokyo. 

Ikeda Sensei was born in Tokyo and started practicing aikido in 1968, while studying at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo. He moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1976 and taught there from 1978 to 1980 under Saotome Sensei. In 1980, he moved to Boulder, Colorado to establish an ASU affiliated dojo. 

Since 2009, Ikeda Sensei has been leading the International Aikido Course in Le Vigan organized by the Aikido Harmonie association.

In January 2015, Saotome Sensei decided to recognize Ikeda Sensei as an independent instructor (from ASU) so that he could pursue his own projects.

In 2016, Ikeda Sensei joined the Shimbukai organization.

Ikeda Sensei now lives in Boulder, where he runs his dojo, the Boulder Aikikai. He travels frequently to conduct seminars, both in the United States and in many countries.


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