Aikido is widely known a “peaceful” martial art. This means that we try to avoid conflict as much as possible. In the aikido world, we believe that the most successful fight is the one that doesn’t happen.
In our Tomiki style of aikido, we have a kata known as “The Walk” that encompasses all of our fundamental movements. We want our students to internalize these movements until they become second nature – they can move a certain way without having to think consciously about it.
The very first movements in our “Walk” are evasion steps. That involves getting out of the way of a potential attacker in the most efficient way possible. By doing this, our opponent has committed to an attack and generated energy. When we all of a sudden aren’t where the attacker expects us to be, they have to do something with that energy – this usually involves falling down. Have you ever picked up a jug of water thinking it was full, and it turned out to be empty – or leaned on a chair with rollers and had it move unexpectedly? This is similar to what an attacker experiences when they try to hit, kick, or grab us and we aren’t there.
This video demonstrates some of the evasion steps that are fundamental in our aikido practice.