What is Aikido?
Aikido is a modern, non-violent Japanese martial art with roots in jujitsu and kendo. It was developed early in the 20th century by the late master, Morihei Ueshiba, one of the greatest martial artists of all time.
Aikido is effective as a martial art but its essence goes beyond the resolution of physical conflict. Based on a background of rigorous training in traditional Japanese jujitsu, Master Ueshiba spent the latter half of his life developing the art as a means of refining and uplifting human spirit. He created what he called Aikido, a way of harmonizing yourself with the forces and principles of Nature.
Aikido practice is done with a partner. Aikido movements are natural and simple, and their effectiveness is derived from timing and positioning rather than from physical strength and power. Extension and correct alignment are foundation stones. Thus Aikido is practiced to great benefit by young and old, strong and not-so-strong.
Aikido training can be undertaken as a method of self-defence, a satisfying workout, a spiritual path, usually a combination of these. It is a practice that unites the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of the human being through concentrated action and attentiveness. Etiquette and a spirit of harmony (non-competitiveness) are intrinsic to the art. Increased stamina and self confidence, and a feeling of well-being, generally accompany practice.
There are no competitions in Aikido, the founder was clear that it should never become aggressive, violent or competitive. There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbour within.