Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba
Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art developed around the idea of conflict resolution. The word Aikido can be broken down into three parts: Ai (meaning, accord, harmony, synchronization) Ki (meaning, force, energy, power) and Do (referencing a path to self-development and growth). When combined these three parts give us a direct translation of: “the way of bringing force into harmony”; this is exactly what Aikido is.
Unlike many martial arts Aikido seeks to resolve conflict before it becomes a problem. The goal of the Aikido practitioner is not to “get” the other fellow, but instead to listen and find a way through the problem in a mutually beneficial way, if at all possible. Aikido uses the power of “Aiki” to do this. In a martial context, Aiki is the ability to sense and move with someone’s desire to attack you. This oftentimes allows you to resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.
Aikido’s methodology comes from the Samurai of Japan. The Samurai were the no nonsense military caste of ancient Japan. The techniques found in Aikido are those used by Samurai to defend themselves and those they served. Because the techniques found in Aikido are those of the Samurai, the core of Aikido’s technical syllabus is based around armed conflict while dealing with multiple attackers. While this might not seem to be much use to a modern practitioner living is a civilized world; the lessons learned are directly applicable to dealing with the daily onslaught of non-violent tasks one must accomplish every day. Aikido training gives you a way to deal with the constant barrage of challenges one must face in a day. By facing the regular challenges you’ll encounter every time you enter the Dojo (school of practice) regular life will seem less and less of a problem.
Aikido as a practice can enrich your life and strengthen your body. Aikido develops your listening skills, making you much more attuned to your surroundings. Aikido is a path to living a happier, healthier life.