Aikido, Weapons, Iaido

Aikido ​合氣道

Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in the early 20th century. As the physical practice of philosophical principles developed by O-Sensei, Aikido strives for the ultimate goal of peaceful resolution rather than defeat. Composed of three Japanese characters: Ai, meaning harmony; Ki, spirit or energy; and Do, the path or the way, the word Aikido thus signifies the "Way of Unifying Life Energy". In this regard, O-Sensei created a martial art in which the preservation of one’s attacker is equally important as one’s own self-defense.

Aikido is more than the study of physical techniques; proper etiquette, attitude, and behavior are also stressed. The basic movements of Aikido are circular in nature. The Aikidoist trains to harmonize with, rather than confront an aggressive line of force and converts it into a circular motion that renders attackers helpless. The Aikidoist trains to apply various wristlocks, arm pins or unbalancing throws to subdue and neutralize attackers without serious injury. Such practice is done in tandem with learning the art of falling, or "ukemi", which trains the body and mind to receive such techniques in a safe manner.

Aikido is not a sport and hence there are no competitive tournaments. Rather, by cooperative training, the Aikidoist betters oneself without belittling others, without the intention of harm or fear of injury. As traditional Japanese budo, Aikido maintains the qualities of martial spirit, effective technique, and intense training. This, coupled with the premise of mutual respect and caring, and the important balance between attacker and defender, encourages the spirit of O-Sensei’s desire for universal peace.


Aikido techniques and principles of movement have roots in Japanese weapons systems used by the samurai in warfare. These martial art forms have been modified over the years and are practiced in order to enhance and deepen our understanding of Aikido. Our weapons' training includes Bokken (wooden sword), Jo (wooden staff) and Tanto (wooden knife). The practice consists of individual exercises know as suburi and kata, partner practice (kumi-jo & kumi-tachi), and weapon disarming (tachi-tori, jo-tori, tanto-tori).

For more about weapons training, click here.

Iaido 居合道

Iaido is the traditional martial art of Japanese swordsmanship, which evolved from the combat techniques of feudal Japan into the modern system of movement and poise practiced today. Students learn how to draw and cut with the Japanese sword. Considered a meditative practice, the training is also physically vigorous. Mental focus, timing, and proper distance are developed through study and repetition of the ancient forms. In Iaido training, we attempt to understand the use of the weapon while simultaneously conditioning and vitalizing the body.

Montérégie Aikikai offers Iaido training in the style of Muso Shinden Ryu as taught by Mitsunari Kanai Sensei. Several additional styles are also studied in our program.

For more information, you may wish to read this interview with Kanai Sensei.

Intensive Program

"Unity of Principle & Technique" calligraphy by Kiyoshi Nakakura

To learn about our intensive program, click here.