Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs.
Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit”
Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.
Ueshiba’s senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending partly on when they studied with him.
Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker.
What are the benefits of aikido?
The practice of aikido offers many benefits to people of all ages:
- Builds self-confidence, especially in children and women.
- Is a good way to stretch and maintain bodily health.
- Teaches coordination and relaxation in movement.
- Builds confidence in managing conflict safely.
- Brings mental calmness and a feeling of flow.
- Is exhilarating, involving harmony in movement with another.
- Can be practised to advanced age.