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Aikido, The Art of Peace

The Japanese martial art of Aikido (pronounced “eye-key-doe”) is a beautiful and dynamic form of moving meditation and non-violent self-defence. It is often called ‘The Art of Peace’ due to its philosophy of non-violence. Aikido teaches us how to respond to aggression with compassion, and how to resolve conflict in positive ways. There are no offensive movements, no losers or competitions, and no-one is harmed. Aikido is about polishing our spirit and improving ourselves from within, about developing awareness and care for each other, and for our environment.

 

History

Aikido was developed last century by the late Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, also known as ‘O-Sensei’ meaning ‘great teacher’. O-Sensei mastered various martial forms including Jujutsu (unarmed defence), Kenjutsu (sword) and Sojutsu (spear), and was regarded as an invincible martial artist. However, he was also a deeply spiritual man and the duality of victory and defeat, winner and loser, dissatisfied him greatly. Of what value was victory if it came at the expense of another?

Thus, over many years O-Sensei refined his training and developed a new, non-violent art whose natural, flowing movements were based on the principle of non-resistance. Using a combination of circular and spiral movements, and sophisticated joint locks, pins and throws, an Aikido practitioner blends and harmonizes with an opponent’s ki energy to neutralise their attack while simultaneously and actively protecting them from harm. O-Sensei called his new art ‘Aikido’ which translates as ‘the Way of harmony’.

O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido (1883-1969)