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Painting a summary picture necessarily involves broad, approximating brush strokes: All martial arts can be generally grouped into being “hard” or “soft”. Hard implies generally meeting force with force, and soft implies generally using (or “working with”) the attacker’s force to their disadvantage.

Aikido is a “soft” martial art. But within the myriad of variations and flavors, Aikido can be variously described as “harder” or “softer”. The description “soft”, or “flowing”, is often applied to the students and styles whose roots are with Sensei Koichi Tohei. A hallmark of Kinokawa Aikido is that it’s roots are in Sensei Tohei’s teachings. So those familiar with Aikido will recognize the soft and flowing core principles.

A second hallmark of Kinokawa Aikido is that is honest — in the sense of being interested in honestly exploring Aikido as a high intensity [physical and mental], combat effective, applicable to your daily life, sort of practice. In fairness, practitioners of hard type martial arts will generally not consider any sort of Aikido as combat effective or workable in a real world scenario. (Obviously, we disagree with such a prejudged assessment.) But setting aside the judgement (does Aikido work, or not, in real application?), it is the goal of honestly exploring those concepts, within the framework of Aikido, which is a critical feature of Kinokawa.

Further Reading

Kinokawa Aikido
Kinokawa Aikido contains further information about Kinokawa ryu.

Aikido Journal
Aikido Journal is a huge resource (interviews, articles, books, etc) originally published in print, but now only on the Web.

AikiWeb is the dominant Aikido community web site and provides a very different view (that is, not journalistic, but community created) and valuable view of Aikido.