Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 1900’s. He was known as O’Sensei, or Great Teacher. After mastering several fighting styles – Aikijutsu, Daitoryu and certain weapons techniques, to name a few – he merged the best concepts of each into a new martial art which became known as Aikido. O’Sensei taught that Aikido was not about fighting and winning, but was about peace and harmony.
Aikido develops coordination of mind and body. Through its philosophy and techniques, Aikido brings us into harmony with our self, the environment, and the Universe. Unlike many other martial arts, Aikido requires no advantage in strength or speed, and is practiced successfully by people of all ages and abilities. Aikido will improve your flexibility, coordination, concentration, fitness, and balance.
Aikido is not a system of combat; it is a system of self defense. There are no lethal techniques, and atemi (strikes) are more for distraction than to cause injury. It has no tournaments, competitions, or sparring. Instead, Aikido techniques are practiced through a coordinated repetitive process of alternating attacks and defenses.
Aikido is soft, circular and natural movement. Never forced. However, by gently redirecting the force of an opponent these techniques become devastatingly effective. At the core of Aikido is the Japanese concept of Ki energy. Aikido Yuishinkai seeks to unify the Ki of our body and minds with universal Ki, hence, one of the translations of Aikido is, “the way of harmony with Ki.
The three characters (or kanji) representing aikido are translated as follows:
合 Ai – Means harmony
気 Ki – Means energy or spirit
道 Do – Means the way