Aikido Comes from Toddler Movement

Click here to read an extremely interesting article on the roots of not only Aikido technique, but of the fundamentals of human movement, by David Orange Jr. Especially relevant for students of Kyu Shin Do Aikido with regards to our own “feldenkrais” influences within the club. Go make a cuppa first as this is quite a long article, but well worth the read.

“For the past twelve years, I have promoted the idea that aiki-jujutsu and aikido were developed by observing children at play. Most martial artists who heard this idea rejected it, but those who saw my examples were persuaded to consider it more carefully…”


One Response to Aikido Comes from Toddler Movement

  1. mel says:

    The parallels between martial arts and childhood movement exist because both derive from the same source, not necessarily because one derives from the other:The range of movement available to the human body is limited, and moreover, relatively consistent between individuals.This leads directly to there being ‘ideal’ responses to specific situations based on the individual physiologies of the interactants. These general similarities between individuals yield generalized patterns of movement that are (more or less) effective between many individuals.Technique is born. Martial arts naturally seek these patterns of movement. The common thread between different martial arts of technique disappearing at the highest level represents the ability to intuitively recognize the specific relationship of an opponents body and movements to your own, dynamically generating ‘ideal’ technique on the spot.The reason toddlers display real technique in some of their natural movements is because they’ve been reflexively ingrained into humanity over time, like pulling your hand back from something hot. They offer survival benefit, in the same manner as the other reflexes infants and small children display.Whether or not aikijutsu was informed by watching toddlers is, to me, a needlessly academic question; knowing the answer wouldn’t change the nature or direction of the martial arts; studying the movements of children would simply be an indirect way of studying something that could otherwise be studied directly.

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