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1995-2017 by Hideki Shiohira
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A Presentation of Aikido

Table of Contents

What is Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial Art that stresses self defense by harmonizing with an attack and controlling the attacker by joint locks or their own momentum. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the mid 1930's. He is known as O'Sensei, or great teacher. He had mastered several martial arts in his youth and had a very strong spiritual side as well. O'Sensei had a realization that his martial art was not about fighting and winning, but that it was about love and harmony. Thus, Aikido was born.

The three characters (or kanji) representing aikido are translated as follows:

  • Ai - Means harmony
  • Ki - Means energy or spirit, either your own, or the world's collective energy
  • Do - Means the way or the approach to training that includes learning the physical movements as well as developing your whole self.

Thus, Aikido can be defined as the way of learning to harmonize with the environment we live in. In the self defense context it means not fighting with an opponent or resisting an attack. This is what sets Aikido apart from other martial arts and self defense systems. The concept of accepting an attack and dealing with it without fighting is unique. It also is counter to our very basic "fight or flight" response. Thus, a large part of deeper Aikido training is to learn to be calm and relaxed and to be aware and alert to what is happening around you. The other aspect of training is to learn the basic physical techniques and movements to respond to any kind of attack.

This combined approach develops your entire being, not just your physical side. Aikido is effective for self defense, but more importantly we learn how to deal with the stresses and pressures of daily life. Being relaxed and calm minimizes the tension, conflicts and anger that occur every day of our lives.

Aikido does not have contests and does not require just physical strength. Thus, it is suitable for men, women and children of all ages. Aikido practice provides healthy exercise by natural and relaxed body movements; creates self awareness of our own bodies as well as mental calmness and alertness to our surroundings; increases self confidence; and is an effective way to defend oneself.

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History

ŌSensei

Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba Sensei in the mid 1930's. He is known as ŌSensei, or great teacher. He had mastered several martial arts in his youth and had a very strong spiritual side as well. After vigorous training with a boken (wooden sword), ŌSensei had a realization that his martial art was not about fighting and winning, but that it was about love and harmony. Thus, Aikido was born.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, Second Doshu

Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, the son of ŌSensei, was born in 1922. From early youth, he trained under the guidance of his father. He was instrumental in leading and organizing what would become the Aikido World headquarters. Upon the death of ŌSensei in 1969, Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei was named the second Doshu of Aikido.

He was responsible for spreading Aikido all over the world. He passed away in 1999 in Tokyo. His legacy is having people all over the world training in Aikido and following the teachings of his father ŌSensei.

Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei, Third Doshu

Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei is the son of Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei and the grandson of ŌSensei. He was named the third Doshu shortly after his father's death. He is continuing the Aikido legacy and has given seminars all over the world to promote Aikido.