How does Aikido work?

How does Aikido work? This video quickly outlines the structure of the system of Aikido- or in short how Aikido works. For beginners this should give you a structure to follow and logic out how you should be learning Aikido from Christopher Hein’s approach to the martial art. Aikido is not about fighting, but about energetic harmony- something like a conversation. This video should help with beginners martial arts training at home. This is an aikido lesson for beginners as well as an aikido techniques tutorial for those asking the question how does Aikido work.

 This video was made “quickly” there are camera problems, and other issues. However we wanted to start getting things out to everyone who is quarantined at home. This is the first of many ( hopefully much better ) video’s that explains our way of doing Aikido. Hope you enjoy



  1. I used to think Aikido was BS until I met a guy who was a bit of a Hippie, Surfer sort who was very into eastern philosophy. a black belt in Aikido and a Purple Belt in BJJ, if he wanted to compete in BJJ he would be a serious problem, but he just didn't give a toss. Thing is there are a lot of Brazilians who train Capoeira alongside BJJ however, I think Aikido could actually give you a better background for training judo or bjj because in Aikido training you are learning how to take breakfall etc. I like all three martial arts because they are all based on resolving conflict with the least amount of violence possible. He even said to me the Aikido stuff he would use if he was having to talk to a drunk person or someone who's just mouthing off and he just want to give them a "back off" message. He's said he'd use his BJJ training if the person doesn't take the hint and goes in full bore. he said it was all about giving people chances before you take it that far though ie having to choke them out etc like he said "you don't go nuclear straight away".

  2. I’m always trying to explain to people what aikido is. Maybe I should just show them your video. The thing is, I don’t really want to fight people. And I mean, if they would just leave me alone… Anyway you totally summed up what I feel about aikido in this video

  3. Aikido is kaleidoscopic and we see that here, where every action by the attacker presents new options for the defender. I like your idea about asking a boxing coach for solutions to a headlock. So many people get lost in comparing martial arts against each other, but they each deal with different problems and scenarios or rules, and they all have weaknesses. This focus on peaceful resolution and not hurting the opponent but instead making him regret his choices is key.

  4. It is delusional to practice all this without pressure testing. You have invested so much time in this to actually see how unrealistic all this is. You sound like a snake oil sales man.

  5. Aikido does make perfect sense as a practical Martial Art when Traditional Japanese Weapons are involved. It's harder to see the practicality of the self defense or combat applications with empty handed demonstration alone compared to some other arts.

    The empty handed version is still sublime in my humble opinion. Your exposition of Aikido's objective along with your explanations of the techniques are thorough, very clear and truly efficient. Your mechanics are crisp and graceful. You covered in twenty minutes, what it took me a year in class to fully digest as a beginner.

    This was a First Rate Demonstration….no flattery. I hope to see more. Great video.

  6. I understand what you're trying to do, but it just doesn't make sense to me. Aikido techniques still don't work against live resistance and it just feels like you're trying to make it work, not that you found what it was originally about. The techniques you showed really seemed like the kind of stuff you need a compliant partner to do.

  7. Thank you for the video.
    I am a aikidoka in Taiwan. The ideas you mentioned in this video is quite same with what i have learned.
    My sensai once said that the core idea about akikido is the body position between you and the attacker and your footwork.
    While facing a fighting situation, there might be no time for fancy techniques, but it is useful to keep your distance or when you can't, use ikkyo to block and throw a punch in their face.
    "Aren't punches aikido?" as you mentioned, the idea of aikido is more like a system, actually, there are "atemis" in aikido, which means punching or albow attacks when you find a chance and a door that your opponent opened in their defence. Of course, once might said that aikidoka's punches are more useless and untrained compared with a boxer's punch, but in my opinion, no martial arts are perfect, and why can't we also go to classes of boxing and learn from them politely? It is not that kind of stuff that you choose a side and can't cooperate with people learning other techniques.

    Lastly, o-sensai was once served in the Japanese military during the WW2 teaching soldiers about bayonets. He had a great experience with military cultures, and I simply don't think the original aikido was mostly considered as useless for the public(which was what I saw on the internet, sad but true). There must be something wrong and I am still finding answers.

    By the way, there is a saying about aiki-jo in Japan says that the techniques came from o-sensais experience of rifle bayonets.

  8. You want to have a conversation and you have expectations. But sometimes you may bite off more than you can chew. I would like to have a specific conversation with Elon Musk but he will make a fool of me quick.

  9. Over 40 years of practice and teaching and I still find that very few really understand Aikido or any other Martial Art. My Sensei, Kawahara Sensei, Shihan, ( passed away on June 2, 2011), former Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation and Member of the North America Technical Committee, often pointed out that when you are grabbed in practice you are practicing exercise for technique, not a technique. Atemi or striking is 90 or more percent of Aikido but many of those who practice do not know this, he would say just hit and if the person was downed no need for technique. That atemi, was critical in helping to break the balance of your partner, that balance must be broken for technique to work.
    For the beginner it is not just open handed exercise but weapons practice that must be learned from the beginning, sword, knife, staff, spear.

    It is the practice of Aikido as a true Martial Art that one learns how to deal with violence naturally, calmly. No competition because competition has rules and there are no rules in a true Martial Art. Competition means combat sword against sword, blindness, blood, death. Aikido teaches the ugly truth about violence that it is to be avoided. If you have to use any martial art in self defence then it is combat, you can be pushed fall and hit your head on a curb and die, nothing special that happens all the time. What is combat, you practice in the dojo as if you are on the battlefield, the feeling you have on the battlefield is like practicing in the dojo, and both are the same as having your morning coffee, nothing special. This is the real secret of any true martial art, practicing and studying will lead you to discover that one or more people attacking you is nothing special no different than your morning coffee. Not easy, but fun, and it is a lifetime of study and practice. Kawahara Sensei said that if a Black Belt stops practicing then they are no longer a black belt.

    All true Martial Arts are just different starting point on the same journey. One is not better than another. But they all have somethings in common, there is no competition, there are no rules, we do not fight fairly if we have to fight, we wear no protective equipment.

    Talked to long and rambled some, late night. One thing to remember is that any Sensei can only teach you a very small amount about 10%. Practice everyday, study and you will discover the other 90%.

    Kawahara Sensei would say, " Practice properly, do not injure one another and have fun.

  10. Ok. It takes a lot of words to explain how to keep a conversation. I like it. Whoever a lot of teachers I highly respekt. Awoid to use a lot of words. Al is good but may be aiki gets to be the way and not a goal. If The Goal is to Become a Gold Spoon so I need to be Completely Invulnerable
    The Goal is to Become a Gold Spoon so I need to be Completely Invulnerable. My goal is to owervom the knead to defend the art of aikido. Over other arts. One teacher told me some thing like. "All the arts. In the end is soft. I read this. Karate also." Ther is lot's of reasen to strive for the essens in your art rather then trying to prowe and promote itt.

  11. I think that by now any claim to functional Aikido has to at least strat with a demonstration of some at least mildly pressure testing sparring excercises with a "non compliant" partner. Then we can see exactly what aikido techniques you are claiming works.

  12. I practiced Real Aikido (realni aikido) that i didn't like, so i switched to Aikikai Aikido, and I really like it till, one guy had some bleeding – not duo injured – and i went out of tatami to give him napkins, and my sensei was like "you shouldn't just leave tatami like that"… so I was like defied his logic. soon I quit duo other stuff too… that was around 2009. Now I started with Judo, and with this non traditional elements, I like it more. Judo, at least where I am training is more focus on practice not so much Japanese tradition. Do not get me wrong I love them, but I come to train, and we do. Plus… Judo have Randori witch is in my opinion highlight of training.

    Keep practice whatever you like, and be better man

  13. Try your "negotiations" with two meth addicts who want to hurt your wife after they kill you. You have no business teaching anything about fighting. There is no such thing as "self defense"- it always breaks down into who can take more damage and give more damage. And strength is always a key issue. Learning Aikido or other useless traditional martial arts, of which almost none work, will get you killed or cause you to make a really bad decision that was based on the errant your garbage your overweight out of shape never had a fight in their life mat warrior has put in your head. Martial arts is very cult like and needs to be watched carefully due to its shaky past.

  14. Going by this logic, being a sprint runner, would be an even more practical self defense.

    The whole concept is flawed. You need to eliminar the danger not go back to “harmonious conversation.”

  15. I came here because some martial-arts friends on facebook were mocking the video.

    In my opinion this is one of the best videos I've ever seen on the topic of martial arts, and it clarifies the meaning of decades of Aikido and Daito-ryu practise for me. Thank-you.

  16. I have been involved in aikido for a long time but overtime been doing more of a combatives JKD mixed martial art approach now for quite a while but this has really brought me back to aikido. Thank you 😊

  17. Thanks for the video. My core focus is Parkour and Gymnastics and I've been struggling lately to figure out where Aikido fits into this. Your explanation helps, thanks.

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