Tomiki Aikido of the Americas
Tomiki Aikido of the Americas, Inc. (TAA) was established in 1990 to promote the practice of Professor Kenji Tomiki’s system of sport Aikido. The organization brings together Aikido clubs in North, South and Central America with publications, newsletters, seminars, and competitions. We also coordinate activities with other national and international Aikido organizations.
Introduction to Aikido
Aikido has a rich heritage as one of the most important and dynamic expressions of Japan’s long martial arts tradition. Aikido is a graceful and sophisticated Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba around the turn of the century from the Daito-ryu school of aiki-jutsu led by Sokaku Takeda. Aikido is almost purely defensive; it teaches no kicks or punches and has relatively few aggressive moves.
The central themes of Aikido are to learn to defend without vengeance, to forgive your enemies and to harmonize with any attack. By using the attacker’s momentum, the Aikidoist takes the attacker’s balance, controls his force, and ultimately neutralizes the attack. Aikido’s lessons of physical and mental self-discipline, focus and commitment can be applied throughout one’s lifetime. The unique blending of form, utility, and ethics is responsible for Aikido’s popularity today.
Tomiki Style of Aikido
Kenji Tomiki’s style of Aikido is a style that strives to combine the competitive excitement of Judo with the spiritual serenity of traditional Aikido.
Kenji Tomiki (1900-1979) was perhaps more suited than anyone else in history to combine the disciplines of Judo and Aikido; during the 1920′s and 1930′s he studied intensively with both Jigoro Kano, the founder of modern Judo, and with Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Kenji Tomiki earned the rank of 8th Dan in both Judo and Aikido.
The role of the tournament in Tomiki Aikido is two-fold: (1) to provide a forum where everyone can demonstrate his/her Aikido skills and to come together in friendship and harmony to learn from fellow Aikidoka, and (2) to allow each Aikidoka to test the effectiveness of his or her techniques in the crucible of competition. Because of this fundamental principal and the core recognition that both kata (choreographed moves) and randori (sparring) are essential, while simultaneously realizing that some people may prefer one over the other at any given time, a Tomiki Aikido tournament is comprised of both.
Is Aikido for You?
Aikido is an excellent form of both physical and mental exercise. It is considered a “soft” art because of the lack of kicks and punches. Aikido is ideal for just about everyone, from teens to grandparents; it is especially attractive to women because it does not require the tremendous amount of strength required by other martial arts. Competition is not required to advance in Tomiki Aikido, but it does help sharpen your skills and provides a chance to practice what you have learned with other Aikido players.