What is Aikido?

AI
love
harmony

KI
energy
spirit

DO
the way

A I K I D O …
is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. He is often referred to by his title ‘O Sensei’ or ‘Great Teacher’. On a purely physical level it is one of the most effective forms of self-defence taught today.

It is an art involving some throws and joint locks that are derived from Jujitsu and some throws and other techniques derived from Kenjutsu. Aikido has no set rules and so can be practised in a realistic way against any kind of attack, armed or unarmed. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement. Aikido is an art of self-defence working by redirecting and neutralising the attacker’s energy in circular and spiral motions.

Upon closer examination, practitioners will find from Aikido what they are looking for, whether it is applicable self-defence technique, spiritual enlightenment, physical health or peace of mind. O Sensei emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of this art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace. “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit” is one way that “Aikido” may be translated into English. Although the idea of a martial discipline striving for peace and harmony may seem paradoxical, it is the most basic tenet of the art. What Aikido is for yourself you will find out when practising this wonderful art.