The term 'aikido' has been derived from three Japanese words: 'ai', which means 'to join'; 'ki', which means 'spirit'; and 'do', which means 'way'. Essentially, aikido is a form of martial art that involves joining the mind, body, and spirit in order to find the way.
This Japanese martial art was created by Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido, when examined on a strictly physical level, involves joint locks and throws that have been developed from Jujitsu as well as Kenjutsu. The focus of aikido techniques is not kicking or punching the opponent, and instead using their own energy against them. Great emphasis is placed on the dynamics of motion and movement.
On a deeper level, the practitioners of aikido derive whatever they may be seeking, such as peace of mind, physical health, spiritual enlightenment, as well as a technique of self-defense. Ueshiba, in fact, laid great emphasis on the spiritual and moral aspects of aikido, placing a lot of importance on the process of developing peace and harmony. This holds true of aikido even today, even though various styles may emphasize the spiritual aspects of the martial art to lesser or greater degrees. Given below are some of the basic aikido techniques:
Ikkyo: In this technique, control is attained by gripping the opponent's elbow with one hand and using the other hand to grip at the wrist, which results in pinning the opponent to the floor. In addition, this grip also puts pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Nikyo: This technique involves a wristlock that is adductive, that results in twisting the arm, and then applying a painful pressure in the nerve.
Sankyo: In this, the wrist is pronated, which results in directing an upward tautness which travels all through the arm, the elbow, and the shoulder.
Yonkyo: This is a method of shoulder control that is akin to ikkiyo, except that the forearm of the opponent is gripped with both hands. Pressure is applied on the radial nerve of the opponent.
Gokyo: This is basically a variation of the ikkiyo wherein the hand that grips the wrist is reversed, with the arm as well as the shoulder rotated, and a downward pressure applied on the elbow.
Kotogaeshi: In this throwing technique, the practitioner applies a wristlock as well as a throw that extends the extensor digitorum.
Iriminage: Known as the 'entering the body' throw, in this technique the nage, or the practitioner, moves into the space occupied by the opponent, or uke. This classic method is akin to the 'clothesline' technique.
Koshinage: This is the aikido variation of the hip throw, wherein the practitioner will get his hip slightly lower than that of the opponent, and then will flip the opponent with a pivoting action.
Tenchinage: This is also referred to as the 'heaven and earth' throw, in this the practitioner moves forward, sweeping one hand high, which represents heaven, and the other low, or the earth, which results in unbalancing the opponent, causing him/her to topple over.
Kaitennage: This is also referred to as the 'rotation' throw, wherein the practitioner moves the opponent's arm backwards, to the point of locking the shoulder joints. Then maintaining this hold, more pressure is applied.