What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by renowned Japanese martial artist Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平) in the early 20th century. Aikido can be best described as the culmination of his teachings, studies, and ideas about the world. Unlike many other forms of martial arts, the purpose of Aikido is not to train for competition, but instead create a harmonious, flowing movement that can be used to redirect the force of an attacker. The greatest enemy of the aikidoka, or a practitioner of Aikido is not another opponent, but the strife that occurs within oneself.
The interpretation of the term aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker’s movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort. One applies aiki by understanding the rhythm and intent of the attacker to find the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-technique. Historically, aiki was mastered for the purpose of killing; however in aikido one seeks to control an aggressor without causing harm. The founder of aikido declared: “To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.”
A common translation of the word “aikido” means “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit,” and as such, the goal of the aikido practitioner is not to kill or seriously injure one’s opponent, but rather to use only that level of force which the situation calls for. Hence, aikido is an extremely practical form of self-defense (both physically and legally) in the world we live in today. It doesn’t require large size or great strength, which makes it an ideal martial art for women and people of all ages.
For further information, please see the forum page from the AikidoAcademyUSA web site here.