Aikido (the way of harmony with the life force) is a non-aggressive, non-competitive Japanese martial art. It was developed during the first half of the 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba, commonly referred to as O Sensei (great teacher). Despite its modern origin, Aikido is rich in martial spirit and tradition. Its roots trace back to the body arts of jujutsu, as well as the sword arts of kenjutsu. Therefore, Aikido has successfully preserved the honor and ethics of Japan’s classical martial arts.
Typical Aikido techniques are characterized by throws, locks, and atemi (strikes to anatomical weak points). Furthermore, Aikido students learn to receive the techniques of Aikido through the art of ukemi (the art of safely dealing with a technique by moving, rolling, or falling). Aikido emphasizes blending and hamonizing with your adversary to neutralize an attack or conflict. Aikido techniques are quite suitable for individuals of all ages and physical abilities.
In addition to learning self-defense techniques, Aikido students typically improve their balance, coordination, and fitness level. Most importantly, serious Aikido training creates an environment where one can develop self-discipline and strong will-power. Aikido has as its goal the development of the whole human being, mind, body, and spirit to its full potential.