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.
Prices shown in USD.