Ai, harmony. ki, spirit or energy. do, the path or the way. Aikido is the way of harmonizing the spirit. Aikido developed in the 1920s and 1930s as a synthesis of jujitsu, sword-, and spear-fighting. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), combined the joint locks and throws of jujitsu with the body movements of sword- and spear-fighting. He ultimately settled on the name Aikido in 1942 to stress the deeper spirital foundation of the discipline. Ueshiba was a follower of new Japanese religion called Omotokyo, which mixes neo-Shintoism with socio-political idealism to create a harmonious "heavenly kingdom on earth." While this specific religious aspect does not influence Aikido as practiced by most Aikidoka, there at least two fundemental tenents: (1) a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible and (2) a commitment to self-improvement through aikido training.
The techniques of Aikido are circular in nature, and are not designed to stop attacks or to conflict with them. Instead, aggressive motions are converted into circular movements that render attackers helpless. Aikido techniques allow the attacker's movements to continue and complete themselves naturally, so that the attack is diverted and redirected harmlessly. The Aikidoist is trained not to cripple, but to apply various wrist and joint locks, pins, and unbalancing throws to neutralize aggressors without serious injury to either the aggressor or the Aikidoist. The movements are like the motions of a sphere which rolls effortlessly along, joining mind and body.
Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art (or correct: a martial way = “budo”), is a surrogate or synthesis of ancient budo schools where martial skills (bujutsu) and warfare (heiho) as well as spiritual exercises were taught to the Japanese warriors (samurai). In its unique approach, aikido hands down the essence of Japanese war culture and samurai tradition (bushido). Aikido is still a martial way of training and developing body, mind and spirit, it is still true budo but without being an anachronism to our modern day world. So, the ancient budo principles, methods, and strategies are no longer used to prepare for the medieval battlefields but for self-defense situations, they are no longer methods of warfare but of conflict resolution. Based on its ethical basis, aikido teaches appropriate and peaceful answers to violence and conflict in modern societies.
A Japanese martial art started by Morihei Ueshiba. It is for self defense and can be translated as "the art of peace". This is not necessarily true. During WWII the allies invaded Japan and outlawed the practicing of any sort of military training. The ingenious teachers changed the fighting style to make it seem passive, allowing them to continue to teach and practice aikido. If you take it in a dojo they will teach you the soft version. However, their are still movies that will show you the darker side of this martial art. Even without being shown you can see that every move can be turned into a deadly retailation. Now a days they teach throws and how to basically drop you opponent/pin him/her into submission. It is still very painful and effective but can be deadly if you know what you are doing. Every grab or move can be adjusted to break the neck of your opponent or cause crippling/fatal damage.
Aikido is the most dangerous martial art out there. True masters are impossible to hit and the legendary Ueshiba was rumored to have been able to dodge bullets. Read about him or attend a seminar in a local dojo. You will think people are faking falling and such but if you try yourself you will see that they aren't.
1. Noun: a Japanese martial art, created by Morihei Ueshiba. Translated as "he way of harmonious spirit" or as "way of adapting the spirit". Focuses on armlocks and throws, often combining the two.
2. Verb: to beat someone thoroughly, usually through physical means in sports or figthing.
1. I take aikido classes at the mall.
2. Aikido his ass!
The (martial) art of becoming one with the ground by being thrown onto it with increasing force.
The way of life through harmony with the universal force.
Jim Lahue is a wonderful aikido instructor.