What is Aikido?

O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba in the 1930s

Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that teaches practitioners to neutralize aggression through harmony of movement and precise timing. It originates from an ancient samurai method of unarmed combat. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba during the early part of the 20th century. The techniques of Aikido are designed so that students can protect themselves, and, to some extent, their attackers by neutralizing aggression.

Aikido is an extremely effective self-defense art that does not meet force with force. Instead, it redirects an aggressor’s force with well-timed, flowing, and circular movements. In this way, the attacker’s own momentum and movements are used to compromise their balance. Once they are unbalanced, the attacker is dealt with through a range of joint locks, pins, or throws.

It can be said that Aikido has a short history but a long past. This past continues to inform current practice, allowing today’s students of the art to benefit from traditional Japanese martial arts insights.

In Aikido there are no competitions, tournaments, or trophies to win. The emphasis in Aikido training is on self-protection rather than fighting. The ultimate aims of Aikido are self-development through budo training, and victory over self rather than victory over an opponent.