Aikido is the softest Japanese martial art.

Aikido – Ueshiba statue

While Jujutsu literally means “soft skill”, it has evolved in various ways, and Aikido represents the greatest concentration of the softest, most pacifist way, of all the popular styles of Japanese martial art today. It’s the Japanese equivalent to Chinese Tai Chi, and has similar holistic health benefits.

Aikido - Ueshiba palm

Unlike harder interpretations of Jujutsu, which are more inclined to create an overpowering conflict of energy if it’s likely to result in swift selfish victory; Aikido is more likely to reposition in order to pave way for a more graceful solution that results in less of an abrupt impact, less energy spent, less risk incurred and less damage to either person even if it means missing an opportunity for a likely selfish victory earlier on.

Aikido – Ueshiba kneeling

Fun fact: the founder of Judo, Kanō Jigorō, was so impressed with Morihei Ueshiba’s demo of early Aikido in 1930, that he said “that’s my ideal way!” and sent two of his top students, Minoru Mochizuki and Jiro Takeda, to learn from Ueshiba.

Aikido – Ueshiba pointing

Aikido - Ueshiba with fan