A Brief Description of Aikido
Aikido is a modern and effective Japanese martial art. It is based on the concept of redirecting energy through circular movement. It is a defensive martial art that seeks to resolve conflict by blending with an attack to prevent injury to both you and your opponent.
Aikido is the way (do) to unite (ai) all one’s inner energies (ki). It doesn’t require great strength. Students learn to redirect their opponent’s energy so an attacker is thrown by their own directional force or immobilized by a joint lock. All of the techniques depend upon spherical motion and the effective use of centrifugal and centripetal forces. Aikido differs from Karate in its circular and spherical motion, rather than maintaining straight lines of attack. There are no tournaments or competitions in Aikido since practice depends upon cooperation between practitioners to both execute technique and fall safely.”
Excerpt from The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
A Brief History of Aikido
Aikido is a relatively modern Japanese martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba (who Aikidoka call “O’Sensei”). Although there are many Aikido organizations of Aikido, the largest organization is the Aikikai Foundation, the current Doshu (Head) of which is the grandson of the founder, Moriteru Ueshiba.
“The techniques of aikido derive mainly from the daito-ryu aikijujutsu of Sokaku Takeda. Philosophically, Ueshiba was greatly influenced by the views of Onisaburo Deguchi, leader of the Omoto religion. The art evolved gradually during the late 1920s and 30s under various names. Its modern name was officially adopted in 1942 as a result of the reorganization of Japanese martial arts by the Dai Nihon Butokukai.”
Excerpt from The Encyclopedia of Aikido by Stanley Pranin.
“Morihei Ueshiba developed aikido mainly from Daito Ryu aikijutsu, incorporating training movements such as those for the yari (spear), jo (a short quarterstaff), and perhaps also juken (bayonet). But arguably the strongest influence is that of the katana (sword). In many ways, an aikido practitioner moves as an empty handed swordsman. The aikido strikes shomenuchi and yokomenuchi originate from weapon attacks, and resultant techniques likewise from weapon take-aways.”
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Aikido
Aikido was brought to the United States initially by Kochi Tohei Shihan in 1953. The New York Aikikai was founded in 1964 by Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, a direct student of O’Sensei. Yamada Shihan is curently the Chairman of the Board of the United States Aikido Federation and the Latin America Aikido Federation. He teaches at the New York Aikikai along with Seiichi Sugano Shihan.