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A short history

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art. It was founded and developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1963). Ueshiba mastered several martial arts and sought to find a peaceful way to solve conflicts via meditation. Throughout his life, Ueshiba pursued to develop a martial art that did not focus on winning or hurting the opponent. His focus was to improve mental and physical capabilities. This was done through natural movements of the body and harmony between the opponents.

Aikido is based on old Samurai techniques, done both with and without weapons. Ueshiba developed Aikido according to his ideals of martial arts. He combined the fighting techniques with the non-violent principles of Buddhism and Shintoism.


Around the world

After WWII, Aikido spread from Japan to Europe, South East Asia and America. In 1970 Toshikazu Ichimura, an Aikido teacher in Sweden held public demonstrations both in Helsinki and Turku introducing the martial art to Finland.

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Today you may train Aikido in Finland throughout the country: there are almost 70 dojos available, from Tammisaari to Rovaniemi.

Awase was founded in 1992 by Harri Rautila and Markku Kuusinen. The club follows the Aikido style of Christian Tissier.

Most of the Aikido clubs in Finland belong to the Finnish Aikido Federation. The Federation, in turn, is a member of the national Finnish Sports Organization and International Aikido Federation, the IAF.

The IAF fosters cooperation between the clubs and develops Aikido training. It also acts as a link between Aikido Hombu Dojo, the main Aikido site in Japan, and various national Aikido organisations.


Training and techniques

”Aikido is not a way to win your opponent.
Instead, it is a way to bring people together in harmony and form them into a family.

O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba

In Aikido, there is no fighting or competition, as they always demand a winner and a loser. Instead of this, Aikido is based on the opponents learning together as equal partners. You will learn to form an attack and to receive an attack together with your partner. It is important to control the space between the partners, perform effective movements and use the large muscle groups as the source of the bodily force. It is also vital to show consideration to your partner and enjoy the training together.

In order to have an Aikido technique, there needs to be an attack. The purpose of the attack is not to hurt the opponent, but to form a basis for learning the techniques. You practice with your partner but for yourself always keeping in mind that the training needs to be safe and enjoyable.

Second, you’ll receive an attack with different techniques.

Part of the training is to able to receive the executed technique. The basis is to perform a controlled and safe ukemi, that is a fall without hurting yourself or your partner. You will learn to do smooth ukemis both back and forth during the basic training. Later on, as the training advances, you will be able to perform more demanding ukemis.

The attacks may contain grips, strikes or kicks. The grips may be done on hands or keigo-ki, may require the use of both hands or only one hand. The strikes are targeted usually in the centre of the body or on the head. As the training proceeds, you may combine different types of grips and strikes together.

Most of the techniques are done in an upright position, moving horizontally. An Aikido specific feature is to perform techniques both in standing position as well as on kneels. The opponent may be attacking without any weapons or with a wooden sword or stick.

Aikido is a versatile martial art. Everyone can develop his/her own way of movement. The practicer learns to master his/her own body and observe and control distances between partners. Training develops physical skills and improves both physical and mental well-being.

Joy and passion define training in Awase. Classes are also held in a safe and pleasant environment. We have also experienced teachers that are the soul and heart of the dojo. The headteachers are supported with inspired and enthusiastic assistant teachers.