Teaching and practicing the non-violent traditional Japanese martial art of aikido
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AIKIDO's Origins

AIKIDO is a modern Japanese Budo (martial art) that was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), a Japanese philosopher and master of kendo, spear-fighting, and ju-jitsu. O'Sensei (great teacher, as we refer to Ueshiba) was disillusioned with the endless cycle of violence and competition in the martial arts, so he designed AIKIDO as a discipline drawing on our internal energy, or "ki.” Master Ueshiba taught the aikidoist to move with, rather than against, the attacker. The defender thus redirects the opponent’s energy and neutralizes the attack without harming either the attacker or him/herself.

AIKIDO differs from other martial arts in its training. Many other martial arts are practiced to gain fighting prowess. As O'Sensei's experience grew, he realized that developing strength simply for fighting was futile. He developed AIKIDO as a means of individual growth and refinement. In AIKIDO training the student develops a strong body and a mind that is calm, free from contentious thoughts, and whose natural reaction in a confrontational environment is defense rather than offense, protection rather than counter-destruction.

The ultimate goal in AIKIDO is for the individual to develop mental, physical, and spiritual integration. The practice of AIKIDO is characterized by a smooth extension of power, resulting in fluid, functional movements. Many athletes find AIKIDO helpful in developing their coordination and reflexes. Anyone who studies AIKIDO can improve their abilities at skiing, tennis, and many other sports.

Most important, AIKIDO can teach one how to deal with the stresses of daily living and acquire a general sense of well-being. O'Sensei wrote:

"Budo is not felling the opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world into destruction with arms. True Aikido is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, and correctly produce, protect, and cultivate all beings in nature." -O'Sensei