is a martial art of self defense in which the practitioner connects with
the attacker and uses the aggressor's energy to throw him or her. Aikido
is based on circular movement and emphasizes maintaining one's physical
and emotional center. Practice centers on fluid, spiraling movements that
allow blending with and subduing the attacker with a minimum of effort.
Unlike some related martial arts, Judo, Tai Kwan Do, Karate, or Tai Chi,
Aikido is routinely practiced with full physical contact. This is made
possible by a constant emphasis on the safety of both the attacked and the
attacker. This concept is central to Aikido: the goal is not to annihilate
the attacker, but to take away his aggressive intent. Aikido is inherently
noncompetitive; the focus is on being a good partner, rather than
on winning or losing.
Aikido promotes physical development, mental discipline, and spiritual
depth, as well as a unique balance as the partners continually change
roles as attacker and attacked, eventually blending the two into one.
The Founder of Aikido is Morihei Ueshiba (1893-1969), known as O Sensei
("Great Teacher"). A consummate martial artist versed in many kinds of budo, Ueshiba had a spiritual awakening which manifested as the martial
art Aikido ("the way of peace"). Aikido is a blending of various ancient
martial arts coupled with a new philosophy of harmony. O Sensei taught for
many years, continuing to refine Aikido until his death in 1969.