English info

Aikido – The Way of Harmony

Aikido is a soft and dynamic self defense art. The goal is to end conflict peacefully, with least possible physical / mental damage. The attacker is not physically damaged instead his attacking force is guided with spiral movement into direction that forces the attacker to unbalance himself. One of the goals in aikido is to realize the insanity of violence and to seek for peaceful means to solve conflicts. The purpose of aikido is to protect life, not to harm others.  

Aikido is practiced safely and by following the limitations of each practitioner. In aikido there is no need for physical strength since the idea is to guide the attackers force instead of using the defenders physical strength. In the beginning the training is slow and the target is to build up the basics for more advanced and faster training. Balance, coordination, fitness and flexibility develop as the aikido training advances. Aikido is suitable to almost all women and men of all ages and sizes. You can practice aikido for the rest of your life!

There is no competition in aikido! In competition, there is always a loser who wants to have a rematch. Thus competition increases fighting instead of bringing harmony and peace.

History of aikido

Classical budo of the samurai has influenced the development of aikido similarly as to all modern budo. Aikido was developed by O-sensei (= great teacher) Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) who had been practicing different budoarts, f.ex. sumo, from childhood. Ueshiba practiced at least Tenshin Shinyo-ryu jujutsu, Yagyu-ryu jujutsu and especially Daito-ryu aikijujutsu under Sokaku Takeda (1859-1943).

Morihei Ueshiba was interested also on philosophical and religious aspects. After the long training he started to long for a budo that would be nonviolent by nature. His target was to develop “a true budo” that would teach people to live in peace among each other. During 1936 he named his art as aiki-budo. The Second World War as well as a Shinto teacher Onisaburo Deguchi (1871-1948), further influenced Ueshiba’s philosophy and during 1942 the art of Morihei Ueshiba was officially named as aikido.

Originally Morihei Ueshiba wanted to teach aikido only for Japanese and teaching aikido was not allowed for foreigners. Fortunately in his latter years Morihei Ueshiba decided that aikido was a budo for the whole world. Morihei Ueshiba’s son Kisshomaru Ueshiba was chosen as second doshu (leader of the way) in 1960’s. During Kisshomaru’s time Hombu Dojo (the headquarters of aikido in Tokyo) started sending it’s teachers outside of Japan in order to spread aikido to the world. One of these teachers was Tochikazu Ichimura who was sent to Sweden in 1966. Aikido was first introduced to Finland in 1970 and Ichimura-sensei became the head teacher in Finland for many years.

Nowadays there is a variety of ”styles” in aikido varying from “hard” to “soft” and from competitive to health exercise. Biggest aikido-organization is Aikikai whose doshu is currently Morihei Ueshiba’s grandson Moriteru Ueshiba (1951-). Aikikai does not represent a certain way of doing aikido but is more like an umbrella for the aikido practitioners and their country organizations. Other organizations are f.ex. Shin Shin Toitsu (a.k.a. ki-aikido), Yoshinkai, Yoseikan budo ja Shodokan.

Currently there is no head teacher in Finland but there are several Japanese / European teachers that visit Finland every year. Every teacher has his/her own vision of aikido and how it is practiced. Uniting factor for all of these different views on aikido in Finland is Suomen Aikidoliitto - Finland Aikikai ry which is umbrella organization of aikido clubs in Finland. Finland Aikikai is a member of SLU (union of national sports organizations) and represents Finnish aikido practitioners in international aikido organizations IAF (International Aikido Federation) and EAF (European Aikido Federation). There are about 3500 aikido practitioners in more than 60 aikido clubs in Finland. 

History of the club

First aikido demonstration and training in Porvoo was held 12th of September 2004. Porvoo Aikikai club was officially established 15th of September 2004 by the founding members: Saku Ohtonen, Charlie Forstén, Tero Oivio, Antero Kääriäinen ja Roswitha Mäkikara. Porvoo Aikikai has been a member of Suomen Aikidoliitto - Finland Aikikai ry since 1st of January 2005.

In the beginning there were only 2 trainings per week (autumn 2004) but the number of practitioners as well as the number of trainings per week developed rather fast and in spring 2006 there were already 5 trainings per week. Number of practitioners increased from 9 (autumn 2004) to 30 by spring 2006. From the very beginning about 30 % of our practitioners have been female. During the first two years of operation the evening trainings were held at Näsi school and the morning trainings at Suistohalli dojo. From autumn 2006 to spring 2009 the dojo located at street address Lukiokatu 5-7 training hall. Nowadays there are already about 70 members in the club and all trainings are held at Suistohalli dojo (street address Meritullinkatu 3, 06100 Porvoo).

Training in Porvoo

Trainings are being held round the year 5-7 days per week. Majority of the trainings are held at evening time but there is also a possibility to train in the morning. The training times are thus very suitable for people doing shift work or if the work schedule is changing. See Training page for up-to-date information regarding training times. Training fee in Porvoo is 90 € per year for adults and 50 € per year for children. Fees are due at the end of February and September.

More information?

Please contact Saku Ohtonen for more information: saku(at)porvooaikikai.com / +358 40 741 7336.