About Aikido
History of Aikido
Aikido is a true budo or Martial Way developed in Japan by Morehei Ueshiba, or O Sensei ("Great Teacher") as he is called by students of Aikido. O Sensei was a gifted martial artist whose early mastery of the sword, staff, spear and art of ju-jitsu won him wide acclaim.

It was the essence of budo O Sensei sought, however, not merely form. Intense and strong-willed, he continued rigorous physical and spiritual training -- progressing to levels of almost superhuman ability. Eventually, out of the quest for mastery he gained enlightenment and insight into the nature of the martial artist's path. These realizations he incorporated into a science he called Ai-ki-do: "The Way of Unity with the Universal Force".

Dynamics of Aikido
The essence of Aikido technique is spherical motion around a stable, energized center. As in a tornado or whirlpool, the forces created not only deflect the force of the attack, but draw the attacker into the Aikidoist's control. Aikido is known for its graceful techniques, swift, seemingly effortless movements that fling an attacker through the air, or, by means of subtle pressure applied to joints, immobilize and control the opponent. Either effect is the result of precise timing, leverage, and the instinctive use of centrifugal and centripetal forces.

Aikido Training
Aikido has been described as "moving Zen". As with all Zen arts, though the final aim is personal transformation, the focus of the training hall is pratical. Repetition and hard work are required to master the fundamentals of movement, timing and breathing. "This is not mere theory", O Sensei said, "you must practice it".

The rewards of training include stamina, flexibility and improved muscle tone. But, effectiveness does not depend on size or strength. Ultimately, it is the attack that brings down the attacker. Above all, training is an encounter with oneself. The student of Aikido seeks to identify and gain control of the ways in which he or she reacts to opposition, and so learns to remain centered under all conditions.