Aikido has its origins in the traditional Japanese martial arts (Budo ). Developed in the last century by
OSensei Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) from the Jujitsu and Japanese sword arts , he described this Aikido – in contrast to the ” arts of war ” – as the “art of peace “..
“The world will continue to change dramatically , but fighting and war can destroy us completely. What we need are techniques to promote harmony, and not of disputes. The art of peace, not the art of war is needed.”
While the other modern Japanese Budo arts, such as judo, karate and kendo, turned after the 2nd World War to competitive sports (and thus known and famous), Aikido rejects any form of rivalry and division into winners and losers.
Central principles are non-violence and the harmonization with the
Partner. Aikido means learning to move through the body – not only for
Aikido itself in the dojo ( training place ), but for each moment in
life. The focus is on the training of mind and body in
Harmony with its environment.
AI — means ” meet “, ” harmonize “
KI — refers to the central energy of life , both in
individual as in the universal sense
DO — is the way
AI – KI – DO is thus the path of harmony with (by ) the central life force
The techniques in Aikido are flowing and harmonious, and may appear to the viewer almost as dancing choreograpy. They may not seem dangerous, but allow, even if this is not the goal of Aikido, definitly hurt the opponent.
An attack is absorbed, the attacker is off-balanced by using spiral motion. Falling skills ( ukemi ) allow also the attacker remain unharmed even during fast and dynamic execution of the techniques.
Since physical strength is not required for the execution of the techniques, Aikido can be learned by everyone. In some dojos the youngest are 3-year old children, and there is no upper limit for the age – even for beginners. Usually men and women, beginners and advanced all practise together.