Shodokan Aikido

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Logo shodokan.gif
The Shodokan Aikido symbol.
Shodokan Aikido
(昭道館合気道 Shōdōkan Aikidō)
Also known asTomiki Aikido
FounderKenji Tomiki
Current headTetsuro Nariyama
Official website
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Logo shodokan.gif
The Shodokan Aikido symbol.
Shodokan Aikido
(昭道館合気道 Shōdōkan Aikidō)
Also known asTomiki Aikido
FounderKenji Tomiki
Current headTetsuro Nariyama
Official website
Not to be confused with Shotokan karate.

Shodokan Aikido (昭道館合気道 Shōdōkan Aikidō?) is the style of Aikido founded by Kenji Tomiki(富木 謙治 Tomiki Kenji, 1900–1979).[1] Shodokan Aikido is sometimes referred to as "Sport Aikido" because of its use of regular competitions, and although Tomiki used the name Shodokan, the style is still often incorrectly referred to as 'Tomiki Aikido'. Shodokan places more emphasis on free-form randori sparring than most other styles of aikido. The training method requires a balance between randori and the more stylized kata training along with a well-developed set of training drills both specific for randori and for general aikido development. The participation in actual shiai (competitive randori) very much depends on the club with greater emphasis being found in the university clubs, although randori is core to all Shodokan clubs.

In 1967 Kenji Tomiki built a Shodokan hombu dojo in Osaka, Japan, to teach, train and promote his style. Shodokan Aikido is organised with two major groups, the Japan Aikido Association (JAA) and the Shodokan Aikido Federation with Tetsuro Nariyama as the current chief instructor.

Past directors of Shodokan Aikido[edit]


Within the JAA there were two Shihan: Tetsuro Nariyama and Fumiaki Shishida. Nariyama as the technical director of the JAA and chief instructor of the Shodokan hombu dojo in Osaka, Japan. Shishida is Professor of Intellectual History of the Japanese Martial Arts at Waseda University in Tokyo.[2] Together, they wrote a key monograph, in Japanese, entitled "Aikido Kyougi",[3] which describes the history of, and many technical details about, the style of aikido propounded by Tomiki. This book, first published in 1985, was subsequently translated into English under the title, "Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge".[4] The term Shihan is used in an organisational way to describe other roles, such as below.

In recent years, Sato Tadayuki was made Shihan of Waseda University Aikido Club. He, along with the now late Kenshi Uno, of Shikoku Japan, created Shidokan, with the blessing of Shishida Shihan. This system follows the same teachings of Tomiki, but with different emphasis on teachings, a return to Tomiki's earliest methods. All of this is still the teachings of Tomiki's Aikido, but just performed with a different approach. Tomiki gave his art the name Shodokan, and many people were concerned with the introduction of a new name Shidokan. However this is just to show the various paths available within Tomiki's aikido.

As of 2012, the division between Nariyama Shihan and Shishida Shihan grew into a situation where the two of them remaining within a single organization became an untenable position. Thus Nariyama Shihan decide to resolve any conflict by resigning from the JAA and creating a new organization know as Shodokan Aikido Renmei(also known as Shodokan Aikido Federation). This effectively was an official split of the Shodokan Aikido world into two. The JAA now refer to Shodokan Aikido as "Tomiki Aikido". However, because Tomiki Shihan emphatically was against the use of his name being attached to his system of practice, the JAA also commonly refers to the system as "The Aikido of Kenji Tomiki sensei".


Shodokan defines several kata. Some of the more important kata are listed below.


Randori no kata is the basic kata set for Shodokan Aikido. Junanahon consists of 17 basic techniques, which, with their variations, are legal within Shodokan randori. They are broken down into four different categories: Atemi, Hiji, Tekubi and Uki.[5] Kenji Tomiki thought for many years about the construction of the 17 techniques as he omitted techniques from the old styles that he deemed too complex or too dangerous for competition. [6]

Atemi Waza[edit]

The Atemi Waza is a set of five techniques that are classified as striking techniques.

Hiji Waza[edit]

The Hiji Waza is a set of five techniques that are classified as elbow techniques.

Tekubi Waza[edit]

The Tekubi Waza is a set of four techniques that are classified as wrist techniques.

Uki Waza[edit]

The Uki Waza is a set of three techniques that are classified as floating techniques.

Koryu Goshin no Kata[edit]

Old stream self defense kata, includes many techniques that harken back to pre-war aikido (when the art was still taught as Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu). This set of 50 techniques is sometimes referred to as the Koryu dai san and includes weapons as well as empty-hand techniques. Suwari Waza: 4 techniques Hanza Handachi: 4 techniques Tachi Waza: 8 techniques Tanto dori: 8 techniques Tachi dori: 5 techniques Yari dori: 5 techniques Yari wo kumitsukareta: 8 techniques Kumi Tachi: 8 techniques

Nage no kata omote and ura[edit]

A set of throwing techniques: 7 direct and 7 more circular and fluid. This sequence is actually the first part of Koryu dai yon which includes eleven more techniques.

Goshin Ho[edit]

Self-defense techniques several of which are part of the curriculum for yondan and up.


Preparation for grading at Shodokan hombu dojo

Competitions take the form of tanto randori or toshu randori, and also embu (演武) in which pairs (tori and uke) are judged on their kata. Toshu randori (徒手乱取) is barehanded, and both practitioners are expected to perform techniques on one another and attempt to resist and counter each other's techniques. The appearance of this form is heavily influenced by judo randori with a few changes designed to enhance the use of aikido technique (for example, one is not allowed to grasp the opponent's keikogi).

In tanto randori (短刀乱取), there is a designated attacker (tantō) and a designated empty-handed defender (toshu). The attacker attempts to stab the defender with a training knife (usually rubber or stuffed) while the defender attempts, with any of seventeen basic aikido techniques, to throw or perform joint-locks on the attacker. Tantō is expected to resist or counter with the first five techniques. In competition, the roles switch, with competitors having the same amount of time with and without the knife. In both these forms of randori, the traditional separation between the performer of technique (tori) and the receiver of technique (uke) no longer exists, as either participant may throw the opponent.




World Championships[edit]

The Aikido World Championships are held every two years, rotating between Japan and a foreign location.


  1. ^ Aikido Tradition and the Competitive Edge p34-35,
  2. ^ "Shishida at Waseda". 
  3. ^ Aikido Kyougi. ISBN 4-469-16288-4. 
  4. ^ Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge. ISBN 978-0964708327. 
  5. ^ "Junanahon". 
  6. ^ "Competition". Retrieved 2013-07-15.