Aikido is a method of self-defense which can be used against any form of attack. At its highest level, aikido is a “Discipline of Coordination”, or a way of harmonizing all of one’s vital powers. There is no attack in aikido. Instead, its goal is to neutralize aggression and render an attacker harmless without causing them any serious injury, if at all possible. To accomplish this requires skill, but more so, it requires ethical intention. The word ai-ki-do contains the three elements comprising the art: (Ai) harmony or coordination; (Ki) spirit or energy; and (Do) the method or “way”.
Aikido is more than mere “self-defense” in that it trains the whole person to become capable of dealing with any problem in daily life which would normally cause tension or nervousness. Sincere practice of the art will gradually change the way you breathe, stand, and move in your everyday activity. This eventually leads to relaxation, self confidence, balance, and control — both physical and mental.
Aikido is a modern martial art that was founded by Morihei Ueshiba, who is known to practitioners of the art as “O’Sensei” (which means “Great Teacher”). Following O’Sensei’s passing, his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba was installed as Aikido Doshu (meaning “Master of the Way”). Presently, Moriteru Ueshiba, the grandson of O’Sensei, has assumed the position of Doshu. Doshu is the official leader of the global Aikikai Foundation, which is based in Tokyo Japan.
The Aikikai Foundation was founded “in order to preserve and promote the ideals of the true Aikido created by the Founder. As the Aikido World Headquarters, it is the parent organization for the development and expansion of Aikido throughout the world.”