Cool Facts

  • In some areas, Japanese police officers are required to hold at least a Shodan (black belt) in Aikido.
  • Aikido is the only martial art allowed in the U.S. federal prison system.
  • In a recent Florida court case, a man resisting arrest charged the officer involved for using excessive force when his wrist was broken during the application of an Aikido technique. The case reached the Florida State Supreme Court which ruled that the offender broke his own wrist by resisting the technique.
  • Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, once pinned a Sumo wrestler using only a single finger.
  • The government of Japan awarded Ueshiba both their Medal of Honor and The Order of the Rising Sun during his lifetime in recognition of the value of Aikido.
  • Aikido was among the first martial arts freed from the ban imposed on their practice by the US government after World War II.
  • Your arm is stronger when you relax it. (!)
  • The well-known actor Steven Seagal is a 7th degree black belt in Aikido.
  • The practice of Shikko (or "knee-walking"), which has become an integral part of Aikido training, was originally developed when Japanese feudal lords required that all their followers remain on their knees while in the lord's presence. It later developed into a formal movement in many Samurai ceremonies.
From Byron Holtz at Swarthmore Aikido Website.