Aikido (合気道)

A powerful and graceful art founded early in the 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido is a potent distillation of centuries of martial knowledge transmitting the most noble teachings of Japan's samurai tradition. The guiding principles make it more than just a set of techniques for combat or self-defense. Aikido seeks to train both body and mind, and integrate the two, and serves as a path to deep personal development. The art's philosophy seeks to avoid harming others whenever possible.

Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei
Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei,
the Aikido Founder

Training emphasizes decisive techniques of defense (throws, joint-locks, strikes and immobilizations) as well as use of, and defense against, weapons (long sword, staff and knife). Practice is conducted primarily through kata (pre-arranged series of movements), performed cooperatively by two practitioners who switch roles in receiving and performing the technique. A variety of other exercises is used to build awareness, correct posture and movement, and fitness. The mechanics of Aikido are based on refined, unforced movements using the entire body, which allow Aikido to be practiced safely and successfully by all, regardless of age, size, or strength.