Aikido is the creation of Morihei Ueshiba, commonly known as O’Sensei (great teacher). Although he was one of the most renowned martial artists of all time, having studied and mastered many martial arts (Jujutsu, Judo, swordsmanship), he came to the realization that fighting for its own sake was futile and created Aikido to meet the self-defense needs of the socially conscious.
Part philosophy, part action, Aikido is a highly effective form of self-defense that teaches you how to protect yourself without violence or undue injury to the offender. Unlike Karate, Aikido does not primarily rely on kicking and punching nor does it seek to meet force with force. Often using evasion techniques, throws, and submission moves, the aim of Aikido is to neutralize conflict by using the attackers energy, movements, and intentions against themselves.
Staying true to its core tenets of nonviolence, there are no competitive tournaments in Aikido like you might see in Brazilian Jiujitsu, MMA, Judo, Taekwondo, etc. Instead, students learn through repetitive practice and positive reinforcement, not by pain or punishment. Therefore, Aikido can be safely, and enjoyably, practiced by men, women and children of all ages.
However, the ultimate aim of Aikido training is not solely the acquisition of physical skills. Martial arts training is a vehicle to learn more universal principles. The process of Aikido training is really one of self-exploration, development, and transformation. By studying how to calm and controlling the mind, Aikido practitioners are better able to respond to all of life’s seemingly stressful situations.