In our country there are many types of budō. That said, looking from an historical perspective we can say that kendō and jūdō came to take a central role. Since the Meiji Era (1868-1912), kendō and jūdō have been subjects of study in schools, even at junior level.
Budō practice in the olden days was practised as “kata”, but jūdō and kendō were organised so that they could be practised as both “kata” and competitive “shiai”. Being able to take part in “shiai” not only serves the essential purpose of budō but is a particularly effective educational tool for young people.
Aikidō, like jūdō, has its origins in classical jū jutsu. If we separate the many types of “waza” in classical jū jutsu, they fall into four broad categories of “nage waza”, “katame waza”, “atemi waza” and “kansetsu waza”. Within these we can see that competitive jūdō consists of “nage waza” and “katame waza” consolidated into a single practice method: “jūdō kyōgi”. Likewise, “atemi waza” and “kansetsu waza” are consolidated into a single practice method: “aikidō kyōgi”.
“Kansetsu waza” is included within the “katame waza” of “jūdō kyōgi” to some extent, but in order to bring to life sufficiently the many types of “kansetsu waza”, it is more useful to have a training system that also utilises “atemi waza”. It is possible to construe that “atemi waza” and “kansetsu waza” are “waza” designed to cause injury to an opponent, but if we look more deeply into their essential nature, we can see that they are subtle “waza” designed to “take down” (taosu) and “pin” (osaeru). With this in mind, “jūdō kyōgi” and “aikidō kyōgi” can be seen as two methods of competitive training born out of the essential nature of classical jū jutsu.
It is clear that aikidō, historically and educationally speaking, is not inferior to jūdō or kendō and has the same significance and content. Generally, few people are aware of this and are unable to explain its standing within Japanese budō. I have produced this booklet to address this fact and to shed light on the key points.