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The primary goal in the practice of aikido is to overcome oneself instead of cultivating violence or aggressiveness.

Aikido's fundamental principles include: irimi (entering), atemi, kokyu-ho (breathing control), and tenkan (turning) movements that redirect the opponent's attack momentum. The curriculum comprises various techniques, primarily throws and joint locks. It also includes a weapons system encompassing the bokken, tantō and jō.

Physical training goals pursued in conjunction with aikido include controlled relaxation, correct movement of joints such as hips and shoulders, flexibility, and endurance, with less emphasis on strength training. In aikido, pushing or extending movements are much more common than pulling or contracting movements. This distinction can be applied to general fitness goals for the aikido practitioner.

In aikido, specific muscles or muscle groups are not isolated and worked to improve tone, mass, or power. Aikido-related training emphasizes the use of coordinated whole-body movement and balance similar to yoga or pilates.



Iaido consists of four main components: the smooth, controlled movements of drawing the sword from its scabbard (or saya), striking or cutting an opponent, removing blood from the blade, and then replacing the sword in the scabbard. While beginning practitioners of iaido may start learning with a wooden sword (bokken) depending on the teaching style of a particular instructor, most of the practitioners use the blunt edged sword, called iaitō. More experienced, iaido practitioners use a sharp edged sword (shinken).
Because iaido is practiced with a weapon, it is almost entirely practiced using solitary forms, or kata performed against one or more imaginary opponents. Iaido does include competition in form of kata but does not use sparring of any kind.



Jōdō is a Japanese martial art using a short staff called jō. The art is strongly focused upon defense against the Japanese sword. The jō is a short staff, usually about 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) long.
Seitei Jōdō starts with 12 pre-arranged forms (kata), which are drawn from Shintō Musō-ryū.