Aikido, "the way of the harmonious spirit", is a traditional Japanese Martial Art developed in the early part of this century by the late Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) now known to us as O-Sensei or great teacher. O-Sensei mastered various forms of martial arts, most notably Jujitsu (unarmed defense), Kenjitsu (sword) and sojitsu (spear) en route to establishing Aikido. He wanted to develop an art which was noncompetitive and less destructive than his previous training.
Although effective as a martial art, its essence goes beyond physical conflict and includes mental and spiritual aspects in its teachings.
Aikido techniques rely on using the opponent's own momentum and force against him, through coordinated movements like holds, throws, and locks. However, Aikido is largely a mental art: there is no competition in Aikido.
Aikido places great importance on the principle of 'ki', the life force or breath. Aikido seeks to unify the Universal 'ki' with the 'ki' of the individual, and bring harmony to the spirit.
The Aikidoist practices ways to control aggression without causing harm or injury. Circular, flowing movements originating from a relaxed body and focused mind are the Aikido ideal. In Aikido, we confront the enemy that lies within oneself.