The art of martial art

Martial Arts

Money Heist season 3: What does Aikido mean in La Casa de Papel? | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV

Money Heist seasons three and four followed another heist masterminded by El Professor (played by Álvaro Morte) and his brother Berlin (Pedro Alonso). The plan to steal gold from the Bank of Spain is governed by the concept of Aikido is brought up. Here’s what this Japanese concept means and where it comes from.

What does Aikido mean in La Casa de Papel?

Money Heist season three saw the team back together for one more job.

The gang are united by El Professor after Rio (Miguel Herran) is captured and tortured by the authorities in the first episode.

El Professor reveals that the target will be the Bank of Spain in Madrid where they will steal 90 tonnes of solid gold.

The plan was the original idea of El Professor’s brother Berlin, who was killed in series two, and Palermo (Rodrigo de la Serna) who is a new character introduced this season.

READ MORE: Money Heist season 5 release date: Will there be another series?

There are a number of scenes scattered throughout the series in which the plan is slowly revealed and interspersed with footage of the heist gang actually enacting it.

El Professor reveals parts of the plan to the gang during series three as viewers find out how they will achieve the ambitious attack.

Episode two ends with the first explanation of how the gang will enter the bank and claim hostages.

El Professor calls this part of the plan ‘Aikido’ in an explanation to the group of thieves.

Aikido is most commonly known as a modern form of Japanese martial arts.

The title is a composite of three Japanese words meaning harmony, spirit and path.


The martial art focuses on using the opponent’s attack momentum against them to redirect their strength.

El Professor explains it as “using the enemy’s force to your advantage” when describing the plan to his gang.

He adds: “We alone can’t break into the Bank of Spain. The enemy’s force is much greater than ours so we shall apply Aikido.”

He goes on to explain that the things they are not able to do with their limited resources will be done by the Spanish army and the bank’s private security through manipulation.

In the series this is completed by the gang dressing up at the Spanish Army to get into the bank.

Is [SPOILER] really dead?

Interestingly, the Aikido form of martial arts is also known for its emphasis on practitioners defending themselves without injuring their opponents.

This is something that the gang do enact at the beginning of the plan, instead of going into the situation all guns blazing.

However, viewers of the full series will know, that this non-violent approach does not last as the stakes of the heist get increasingly higher.

Money Heist season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

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