Aikido is a modern, non-violent Japanese martial art that was developed early in the 20th century by the late master Professor Morihei Ueshiba, commonly called O Sensei. The Founder passed away in 1969 at the age of eighty six. Aikido continues to evolve under the guidance of O Sensei’s original live-in students (uchi deshi).
Aikido is effective as a martial art but its essence goes beyond the resolution of physical conflict. Based on a background of rigorous training in traditional Japanese jujitsu, Professor Ueshiba spent the latter half of his life developing the art as a means of refining and uplifting human spirit. He succeeded in creating what he then named 'Aikido', 'the Way of Harmony with the Forces and Principles of Nature'. Aikido is a true 'budo', path in which the keen edge of martial training is utilised as a 'Way' to spiritual growth.
Despite its growth in popularity, Aikido remains true to the goals of budo. Its methods are based on Professor Ueshiba's deep faith in 'austere training for the sake of improving the human spirit through tireless polishing and perfection of mind and body'. In accordance with the founders ideals , the art has kept separate from sports, in which one person competes with another. Aikido is rather a path for personal development for people who sincerely desire to perfect there own human nature. As such, Aikido places great importance on the Oriental of the Universal Principal 'ki' - the life force or breath. Aikido seeks to achieve the total unification of this universal 'ki' with the 'ki' of individual human 'self'. Aikido is a budo to harmonise the individual with the Universal Principle and to concord among all peoples. Out of the ancient traditions of Japanese martial arts, Aikido thrives as a source of harmony to counter the disharmonious forces that exist in the world today.