Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Sensei Rei Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and Shinto 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.

AikidoAikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidoka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.

Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Shinto religion. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker.