Aikido is a contemporary Japanese martial art. The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji: ai (unifying, harmony), ki (spirit, energy) and do (way). Aikido is best translated as “the way of harmonious spirit”.
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, created aikido as a completely new system. It is based on a variety of aspects of already existing martial arts and created a new one, adequate to the present we live in.
There are no competitions in aikido, for they develop the ego, and besides that, the specific aikido techniques make it a dangerous martial art form when it is practiced without concern for the opponent’s safety.
First and foremost, aikido training focuses on the mastery of the spirit. Morihei Ueshiba said, “The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”
Those who practice aikido learn the ways to generate strength, to move quicker and better in order to protect themselves. But most of all they learn that the key to self-preservation is avoiding dangerous situations. Training develops such attitudes and strengthens the spirit. Aikido prepares us to be resilient in the face of natural socilcataclysms.