Aikido is a Japanese word made up of three characters:
Ai "harmony" Ki "life energy" or "spirit" and Do "method" or "The way" and when combined can read as: "The way of harmonising your spirit"
It is also said that the founder of Aikido, O'Sensei Ueshiba Morihei, more so equated the "Ai" of Aikido as not so much "Harmony" but that with "Love". Therefore a more less common way of translating Aikido is "The way of love with the spirit of all things"
Pronounced Aye - Key - Doe, Aikido is a relatively new martial art and is fast becoming one of the most popular, with close to 2 million people practicing worldwide.
Aikido has a multitude of facets and can mean many different things to each individual. The lesson structure is such that it is suitable for any age, gender, religion or fitness level to learn and practice.
With this Budo, there is a holistic approach to each situation with a blending and harmony of universal energy with the self. This can then lead on to an immobilisation without causing detriment to you or the other person if required.
The marvelous technique of O'Sensei Ueshiba Morihei
Utilising a spiritual and physical concept of universal energy, Aikido training is based upon movements that emanate from the hara, a stable centre of gravity. The class structure is conducted with partners; there are no "opponents". This concept reveals that there is no one to fight against and creates an attitude of having no enemies to begin with.
There are no competitions or tournaments in Aikido. This promotes a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere to train in. As Aikido is practiced more and more, a realisation may take place that if any competition exists, it exists within oneself.
With this in mind, it is expected that an Aikidoka, or student of Aikido, forever polish their spirit and foster a caring and sincere attitude towards others and their environment. It is a process of forever looking to better the self, much like that of an athlete who should continually strive to achieve a personal best.
"To practice Aikido is but to see our own personal attributes as benifits and express our lives creatively for the positive growth of the self, environment and our community"