Kenji Tomiki was a first generation student of Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido) and of Jigaro Kano (founder of Judo). Kenji Tomiki founded the Waseda University Aikido Club (Tokyo), with the proviso that competition be incorporated in Aikido practice.

GB & Ireland Randori Team (2023, Nara, Japan)
GB & Ireland Randori Team (2023, Nara, Japan)

Kenji Tomiki was aware that second, third and future generation students of Aikido, who by practicing only traditional Aikido, would not know how hard and, indeed, so difficult, it would be to apply Aikido techniques effectively to equally well-trained opponents when resisted or counter-attacked with 100% free will.

The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido by Seiji Tanaka, 7th Dan

Kata along with Kakari-geiko and Hikitate-geiko practice are balanced and essential aspects of training within Tomiki Aikido.

B. Godsman (GB) – 2023, Nara, Japan
B. Godsman (GB) – 2023, Nara, Japan

Professor Tomiki did not put importance on how many techniques we knew. Rather, he encouraged us to master truly effective techniques with infinite possibilities of different ways of realistic applications. As a good example, a championship-class Judo player possibly has mastered only five or six effective techniques with thousands of different applications.

Seiji Tanaka, 7th Dan


Provides core knowledge, skills and understanding of Aikido through sequenced learning. Core principles learnt through Kata include:

  • Posture and balance
  • Avoidance and blending
  • Maintaining appropriate distance
  • Balance breaking and direction of throw
  • Exploiting Uke’s weaknesses


Takes the kata principles and asks the Aikidoka to apply them in an unstructured/non-sequenced manner to see if the Aikidoka can decide when and how to effectively apply a specific Aikido technique in a variety of applications:

  • Kakari-geiko – Randori without or with light resistance
  • Hikitate-geiko – Randori with counters and combinations with varying degrees of resistance
  • Tanto Randori (Shiai) – full competition Randori
Link between Kata and Randori
Link between Kata and Randori

With Bradford Tomiki Aikido being a mem­ber of the British Aikido Association (BAA), club members can take part in the various junior and senior competitions organised by the BAA, as well as the international competitions organised by the Worldwide Sport Aikido Federation, the Japan Aikido Association (JAA) and the European Tomiki Aikido Network (ETAN),

Senior Competitions

GB Team – 2018 European (ETAN) Championship

Senior competition events

This is a formal presentation of Aikido Kata techniques by two people being observed by a judging panel.

A smooth flowing performance demonstrating the purpose and understanding of the specific kata is required. Combined with movement and co-ordination between both participants, a first class representation of the Kata results.

Traditionally there are several categories of embu including:

  • Randori no Kata (basic techniques)
  • Koryu Dai San
  • Open Kata

This is a “free-style” event with three players, each of whom in turn, take the part of the defender against the other two.

Players are assessed on the variation of technique and attack, speed of performance, spatial awareness and general reaction under stress. This event requires considerable stamina and also tests the participant’s fitness.

In this event a player demonstrates their ability to deal with a thrusting attack from a short baton, formally known as a “Tanto”. Two players are involved, each in turn taking the part of an attacker (Tanto) and a defender (Toshu).

The defender scores by the application of an Aikido technique against Tanto. The attacker can score by making a positive strike on the defender’s target area with the tanto and by using a limited number of techniques once grasped, importantly neither player is co-operating.

There are separate events for men and women.

Juniors/Youth (under 16 years of age) are not allowed to take part in Randori events.

Where two players compete against each other, both unarmed in an attempt to skillfully apply Randori techniques

Is a seven-person team event. This event is composed of several matches with the characteristic skills from the training system taught by the first president, Kenji Tomiki. The event balances the practice of both Randori and Kata in parallel and includes: –

  • Basic Kata
  • Koryu Dai San
  • Tanto Avoidance
  • Tanto Randori
  • Toshu Randori

Junior/Youth Competitions

Bradford at the 2023 BAA Nationals
Bradford Aikido at the 2023 BAA Nationals

Juniors compete in up to four events in three age categories (Under 8s, 10s, and 12s). Young adults compete in up to 5 events within two age categories, (14s and 16s), as they have an additional event for Open Kata.

Junior events

From the basic 17 techniques of the Tomik Aikido.

A kata with a broader range of technique being performed at a higher level of skill.

One defender (tori) performing with one attacker (uke).

One defender (tori) performing with two attackers (ukes). This is a fast free flowing and dynamic event. 

Two opponents take turns to use the Tanto in a best of six-strike contest.

Upcoming Competitions

See our Events page for details of the events and competitions for this year.