What is Aikido?

Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平, December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969) was a martial artist and the founder of the modern Japanese martial art of Aikido. Ueshiba envisioned Aikido is not only as of the synthesis of his martial training but also as an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. He developed aikido primarily during the late 1920s to the 1930s based on the older martial arts that he had studied. He is often referred to as "the founder" Kaiso (開祖) or Ōsensei(大先生/翁先生), "Great Teacher".


Today the largest aikido organization is the Aikikai Foundation. It is still under the control of the Ueshiba family. However, Aikido has many different styles, mostly formed by Morihei Ueshiba's major students. These major styles of Aikido are each run by a separate governing organization. They have their own headquarters (本部道場 Hombu dōjō) and have international recognition.

Aikido is often translated as "The Way Of Unifying (With) Life Energy" or as "The Way Of Harmonious Spirit". Ueshiba's goal was to create a martial art that practitioners could use it to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent's attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.

The word "Aikido" is formed of three kanji:

  • 合 – ai – unifying 統合,  joining 聯合,  harmony 和合

  • 気 – ki – spirit 精神,  energy 能量,  mood 心意,  morale 鬥志

  • 道 – dō – way 方法,  the path 通道


Therefore, from a purely literal interpretation, Aikido is the "Way of combining forces". Within it, the term Aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker's movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort. Anyone who applies Aiki must understand the rhythm and intent of the attacker in order to find out the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-attack technique.


Aikido is characterized by "Overcoming Strength With Softness", "Borrow Strength From Others", and "Not Actively Attacking". It is purely defensive and is not easy for practitioners to develop a strong and combative character.


The main skills of Aikido are joint-locks skills, falling, and throwing techniques. Most of the skills of Aikido require the use of throwing and joint-locks simultaneously. If you do not have the intention to protect your opponents, it would be very dangerous, and cannot practice anymore. Therefore, practicing Aikido should cultivate the spirit of protecting opponents. This is one of the reasons why Aikido is named as “Creative Martial Arts”.


The basic idea of ​​Aikido is not to use power to fight against power. Aikido is without a sense of roughness. It could be a mental exercise and fitness exercise.


There is no requirement for the opponent's physical strength. So anyone can practice Aikido regardless of gender, age and master level.


Aikido is a whole-body exercise. It can help you to adjust breathing and enhance blood circulation.


​Internal function (Develop a peaceful character)


Aikido has no competition; practitioners have no thought of competing with each other. It has no intention to destroy other people's martial arts but to exercise and cultivate one's own creative martial arts with others. Teenagers or children who practice Aikido are not easy to develop bad temperament and attacking personalities and emotions.