Aikido 合気道 is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba. It synthesized his life’s martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs.
Aikido is often translated as “the Way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves, while also protecting their attacker from injury. To do this Aikido is performed by blending with the movement of the attacker.
Aikido requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. These techniques are used to redirect the attacking force back onto the attacker, using throws, pinning techniques and joint locks.
What are the benefits of training in Aikido?
Regular training in Aikido can lead to the development of skills that can be used effectively for self-defense. However, this should not be the sole purpose for learning Aikido.
Aikido has also been shown to provide many health benefits including:
• Increased core strength
• Increase in flexibility
• Increased cardio-vascular fitness
• Development of correct posture and sense of balance
Other benefits that have been noted include:
• Increased sense of well-being
• Development of a sense of calm
• Increase in self-awareness and awareness of others
• Increase in personal confidence
• Increase in ability to concentrate