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"In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to surpress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it."

O-Sensei Morehei Ueshiba

The founder, Master Morehei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) - 1883 to 1969

AIKIDO is a relatively new self-defense art founded in Japan by O-Sensei (Great Teacher). As a young man he applied himself to many years of arduous training in Budo (Martial Arts), mastering Jui-Jutsu, the use of the spear (Yari) and staff (Jo) and enjoyed the reputation of being unbeatable with the sword (Bokken).
O-Sensei also delved deeply into religion, studying Zen Buddhism and Shinto. Although he became very strong and won many matches he was troubled by the idea that winning at someone else's expense was not really winning and came to realise that true self defense was not winning over others, but winning over the discord within oneself.

As an acknowledged Master he began to practice movements, exploring them deeply, searching physically and mentally, and spending long hours in meditation.

As a result, AIKIDO was born to divert harm from oneself while not inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor. As AIKIDO developed, it became clear that it was not only an effective means of self-defense, but also a way to interperate one's attitude to life.

The meaning of the word Aikido

The word AIKIDO in Japanese is made up of three characters, or Kanji. The first and most important is 'AI' which means harmony; the second is 'KI' which means spirit or soul and the third id 'DO' - being the way or path (as in Ken-do or Ju-do) to signify that the study of a martial art does not only involve self defense techniques but also includes positive character building ideas which can be incorporated into daily life.

The Philosophy of Aikido

Although AIKIDO is primarily a self-defense art, it takes as the basis of its philosophy the idea of being in harmony with the opponent, rather than being in conflict. In AIKIDO students practice alignment of their posture and movement with that of their attacker, enabling redirection of the attackers power leading the opponent to a pin or throw. Because timing, balance and angles are used, rather than just physical strength it enables the person who is attacked to control an opponent without comparable aggression and is very suitable for both men and women with a range of ages and physical abilities.


Like the practice of AIKIDO techniques, etiquette trains the spirit through the observance of outward forms. Etiquette is that aspect of AIKIDO training that specifically addresses safety, mutual trust and respect. The format used in most dojos originates in the traditional Japanese courtesy and generally involves a series of bows. As with techniques, etiquette is learned over time from the Sensei and by copying fellow students.


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