“Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family."
"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
- Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido
The martial art of Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883~1969) - also known as Kaiso (founder) and Osensei (great teacher) - based upon his studies of numerous traditional Japanese martial arts and spiritual insights.
Aikido may be translated to “the way of unifying spirit/energy” or “the way of harmonious spirit.” Techniques in Aikido aim to blend with an opponent’s aggressive attack with entering and spiral body movements to re-channel the violent energy of the opponent without causing injury. Good posture, balance, angle to the opponent, breaking the opponent’s balance and applying a technique guide the process for blending with an opponent’s attack. Through this practice of blending and harmony, the ultimate goal is the personal realization that to harm another is to harm oneself. Towards this aim, Osensei has said,
“True victory is victory over oneself.”
Aikido is generally practiced in pairs, where partners alternate between applying and receiving techniques. In order to safely receive techniques, participants are taught ukemi (literally “receiving body”): blending with movements of the applied techniques, tumbling and break falling (distribute the impact of a fall over a large area of muscle mass to mitigate injury). Safe falling techniques are based on these methods.