AIKIDO literally means “The Way of Harmony” and in later years as the character “Ai” had the same sound as the character for “Love”, its also equates Aikido.To the uninitiated, Aikido is a form of self-defense that emphasizes wrist, elbow and shoulder locks, all of which are powerful and painful, coupled with training in the use of sword, staff and knife techniques. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century and has grown to be one of the world’s most popular martial arts.
The essence of Aikido is basically the harmony of Aikido and the mind. A fundamental axiom of aikido is that the gentle can control the strong through the study of techniques. However, aikido is more than simply a physical skill which coordinates with the opponent’s movement. Taken a step further, this means that the aikidoka must understand his opponent and share his feelings; so the final objective is not to inflict injury but to cultivate a sense of harmony.
Aikido (the way of harmonising the energy of the universe) is first and foremost a martial art but it is also much more. At its most basic level Aikido is a system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, coupled with training in the use of sword (bokken), staff (jo) and knife (tanto) techniques. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century and has now grown to be one of the world’s most popular martial arts. It places emphasis on practical efficiency, and is the style used to train women and anti-riot teams of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
Size, weight, age and physical strength play only a small role in Aikido, also making it a uniquely suited option for women, children and older students.
As a form of Budo (the martial way), Aikido is more than a fighting art. It is a path of personal discovery and character improvement. The path on which you have taken the first steps is different for each person but if you train hard you will see improvements in many areas of your life. Some of the benefits include increased physical fitness, improved self-confidence and a greater awareness of yourself and your boundaries as well as those of people around you.
Aikido in its presents form is comparitively modern and can trace back to its origin starting from Prince Teijun, the sixth son of the Emperor Seiwa (850-880) and was passed on to subsequent generations of the Minamoto clan. The esoteric art of Aikijutsu is attributed to shinra Sabura Yoshimitsu of Minamoto clan and was kept an exlusive secret for hundred years and became known as Daito Ryu Aikijutsu.
Morihei Ueshiba(1882-1969), the founder of Aikido, met Sokaku Takeda, the well-known master of Daito Ryu Aikijutsu, in 1915 in Hokkaido and was impressed by Takeda’s techniques. He subsequently trained intensely under Takeda and gained a certificate in Daito Ryu Aikijutsu. Morihei Ueshiba also studied Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, Kito Ryu Jujistu and other empty hand and weapon arts.
Morihei Ueshiba’s practice of martial arts gradually began to take more on a spiritual character by the study of kotodama (word spirit). He developed his own approach using applied principles and techniques, to break down the barrier between mind, spirit and body. In 1922 it was formally known as “Aiki-bujutsu”.
In April 1931, Morihei Ueshiba opened a scale of eighty mat Aiki-budo dojo inaugurated as Kobukan or “hell” Dojo. At this time, gozo Shioda was one of the students in Kobukan Dojo. Around this time, the police adopted Aiki-budo as an official curriculum subject. Morihei Ueshiba later feel that Kobukan Aiki-budo was not only a branch or style of some broader art. He proclaimed the new name Aikido to identify his art as unique and a distinctive form of Budo.Then he entered the associations under a new name. Aikido was officially recognized as the name of Morihei Ueshiba school in February 1942.
Morihei Ueshiba passed away peacefully on 26th April 1969 at the age of 86, leaving his students his dream of the world as one peaceful family through the practice of Aikido.