Oceania Aikido Kyougi Renmei
The Official Association for the Sport of Aikido in Oceania

Sport Aikido





 Different Philosophies & Training
 Methods...... But the Same Aikido

Firstly on the topic of the sport side of aikido we have to say that aikido is always aikido and though there are several different schools nowadays, all are based on exactly the same principles and techniques as taught by its founder Ueshiba Morihei. Like other traditional Japanese martial arts, all aikido schools practice in the traditional manner of repeatedly practicing techniques and by practicing kata, which are set series of techniques. However in this it was noticed that “there was the absence of an objective method to measure students’ skills and strengths” and so the controversial sport of aikido was born and the modernization of aikido began.
 The  Competitive  Solution

As a solution to this problem, Kenji Tomiki, Ueshiba sensei’s first assistant  and also an 8 dan Kodokan judo sensei, incorporated randori practice into aikido in 1960. He advocated an integrated training process using kata and randori, maintaining that aikido should be reformed as a competitive athletic event like modern judo and kendo. Tomiki proposed a system for randori aikido modeled on judo and kendo, two martial arts that were being taught in regular physical-education classes in Japanese schools.

However, although Tomiki’s proposal made good sense to teachers of other martial arts, Ueshiba and his followers rejected it. Therefore, he established the Japan Aikido Association as an entity separate from the Aiki-kai.
(from an article by Shisihida Fumiaki sensei)
  Tomiki Aikido,                   
  Shodokan Aikido, Aikido Kyougi

The above terms are all used to identify the modern training methods of Tomiki Kenji sensei practiced at clubs in the All Japan Shodokan Aikido Federation and its central dojo, Shodokan and affiliated clubs around the world. The term Aikido Kyougi is Japanese for "Competition Aikido".  However traditional weapons training, traditional self defence training and competition/sport are all part of the training system as with judo and kendo. It is not simply a sport as is a common misconception among some aikido groups. The sport is supported by the full background and lineage of the  traditional martial art.
Though in the main, competition entries are from the network of clubs following Tomiki sensei's training, it is nowadays common for entrants from traditional clubs to enter into the Kata competitions and a growing number are entering the randori competition.  Tomiki sensei like his mentor Kano sensei from Kodokan Judo wanted his contribution to be open to everyone regardless, and not restricted to one particular group.
 Aikido Competition History

Competitions started in Japan in the 1960's with the university clubs  at Waseda, Seijo, Meiji and Kokushikan Universities and public clubs followed suit. The sport became popularized very quickly and both university and adult national competitions are held with large numbers of participants. The 1st All Japan University Aikido championships were held on November 15th 1970. In the last 20 years competitions for juniors and highschool students have also proliferated.

The rules for randori competition based on Judo rules were refined and tested and improved along the way and kata competition was judged alongside the randori right from the outset. The kata competition judgment method came from the grading system and the judges are qualified examiners. The kata competition judging parallels gymnastics in some ways.

National sporting bodies have formed in countries around the world including this one for Oceania and participation in regional, international and world championships are attended by growing numbers.

Competitions were held as early as the 1970's in Australia, though somewhat primitive in organisation and quality but  in 1999 Australia hosted a world championship in Brisbane and in 2008 the first Oceania Aikido Taikai was held  in Adelaide. Groups from Australia and New Zealand also attended two earlier competitions in Japan and then in 2005 and 2009 official Oceania teams were sent to the World championships in Japan and this will continue, the next one being in 2013. Also from 2011, Oceania Aikido Kyougi Renmei will send a team each year to the Kansai Aikido Tournament (All Japan Tournament) and hold an Oceania Open tournament each year from  2014. Competitions for juniors are also planned.