What is Aikido?

 

Aikido (the way of harmony) is a defensive martial art from Japan, which uses an attacker's momentum and balance to end confrontation quickly and effectively while causing minimal pain to the attacker.

All techniques require very minimal physical strenght and can be mastered by people of any shape, size or age.

Aikido teaches how to defend from a series of grabs, strikes and holds, improving balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness.

 

A Brief History

 

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba a martial artist born in 1883, Tanabe Japan. As a child Ueshiba was very small and sickly but as he grew older he became more active and stronger becoming almost obsessive in the bid to build up his strength, sometimes carrying pilgrims up mountains and training in many different martial arts such as sumo, Aiki Jujutsu, sword and bayonet fencing.

 

In 1904 he joined the Japanese army and was sent to fight in china against the Russians. On his return he quickly devoted himself to training again also studying religious and philosophical scriptures meeting with as many religious and fighting masters as possible to expand his knowledge and experience.

 

 

Ueshiba's talent as a martial artist became well known over Japan and he received many challenges from across the country, defeating all that came to him. After one such challenge where Ueshiba had won without touching his opponent he told of how he was bathed in a golden light and saw how the universe worked in harmony. It was then he worked on developing his own system of fighting borrowing non-lethal techniques from the various arts he had studied, preferring to subdue an opponent rather than harm them. He named this new system Aikido meaning the "way of harmony" and started his own dojos in Iwama and Tokyo teaching all who wished to learn.

 

 More dojo's where set up throughout Japan which were run by Ueshiba's top students a number of which travelled around the world setting up dojo's and settling to teach.

Morihei Ueshiba Passed away on April 26, 1969, aged 86 declaring "Aikido is for the entire world". His family still run the head dojo in Tokyo and Aikido is practised in over 100 countries around the world.