What is Aikido?

Aikido is a ‘pure’ Japanese martial art. It is a fairly modern art but its roots go back over a thousand years.

The warrior tradition of Japan gave rise to many fighting systems and weapons, which has, ironically, given rise to a path of harmony and love enriched in aikido. Study of aikido covers a number of areas, chiefly the body art, weapons training and meditation. The form of practice with a partner includes throws, locks, take-downs and counter and evasion techniques. Practice is generally soft but can be varied and quite vigorous.

The emphasis on all practice is always harmonious, blending and controlled, with no competition or aggression. Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. The aikidoka (aikido practitioner) ‘leads‘ the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. The word aikido is made up of three Japanese characters:

AI – harmony,

KI – spirit, mind, or universal energy,

DO – the Way

picture of Morihei UeshibaDeveloped by Morihei Ueshiba (O’Sensei) as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Morihei Ueshiba 1883–1969

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