Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). His lifetime goal was to develop a martial art based on peace and harmony rather than one that promotes fear and hate. He felt that such a martial art would meet the needs of the contemporary people. His theory of fighting and aiki – the concept of flowing or harmonizing with the energy of the attacker rather then resisting it dominated the core of his teachings.
After a lifetime of study, it is said that he was able to unbalance and throw opponets without body contact. He could quickly defeat his opponet by accessing their vulnerable points and exploiting them. He believed that aikido was the spirit of loving protection for all beings and the solution alleviating a sick and violent society.
Aikido is a specialized martial art form in that it combines various martial arts fusing it together with a strong spiritual belief in peace, love, and harmony with all things. Unlike other martial arts that use a series of punches or kicks to defeat an opponet, aikido focuses on throws, holds, and pressure points.
While aikido is beautiful and flowing, it is also a powerful and effective martial art and should be practiced seriously to avoid injury.
Aikido is made up of two distinct elements – the technique and the spirit. People will often be drawn to one aspect of the art more than the other at first. Some search for personal growth and spiritual transformation, while others are drawn to the flowing, powerful, and effective movements of aikido technique.
Ultimately, one is awakened to the fact that the two seemingly separate elements are woven together so that the spirit is discovered through technique and vice versa.
Aikido is not only about body technique, but also mind technique. Through practice you learn how to move your mind as well as your body. This convergence of body and mind is one of the reasons that aikido is a spiritual discipline. The understanding that all movements must come together in the present action, students of aikido become awake that they can be one with everything around them. The goal of aikido is victory over self, rather than victory over others. Aikido stresses the philosophical way of peace by promoting nonviolent conflict prevention, management, and resolution.
The way of peace is very important. Always remember that warriors do not fight so fiercely because they hate the enemy; they fight fiercely because they love the people they protect.
Aikido, the meaning, can be broken into three parts: AI: Harmony, Ki: Energy, Spirit, and Life, and Do: The Way, or Path.
Ai is the concept of flowing with an attack.
Ki is energy that exists in all things and is the common element linking all of us together. Ki allows us to feel interconnected with everything and everyone.
Do is the basis of personal identity and the loss of that identity into the greater way of the universe. The awareness of the greater way is the basis of spirituality in aikido.
In short, aikido is based on peace and love and is a vehicle for personal growth as well as being a respected martial art form.