Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (14 December 1883 – 26 April 1969) referred to by Aikido practitioners as “O-sensei” or Great Teacher. Master Ueshiba created Aikido as synthesis of his martial arts training and expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace.
During his life, Master Ueshiba studied various old/ traditional Japanese martial arts (Koryu), however Aikido techniques mainly derived from Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and technical structure of Yagyu Shingan-ryu Bujutsu.
The word of Aikido is formed from 3 kanji characters;
AI – join/ combine
KI – energy/ spirit
DO – way/ path
In Japanese martial arts terms, AIKI (one word) also means to blend with the energy. Therefore in linguistic point of view, Aikido could be translated as; “Way of combining forces” or “Way to harmonize with the forces”.
As indicated by its name, Aikido techniques mainly focus on blending with the energy of the attacker and control it with throws, submission or joint locks.
Since Aikido is not intended to kill or maim the opponent, all dangerous and fatal techniques have been modified and simplified from its original root. Aikido is purely martial art not sport/ competition oriented, there is no tournament or competition for Aikido.
Aikido officially become part of Japanese martial arts society (Dai Nippon Butoku Kai) in 1942. Since then it has been introduced to the world by its many students and masters including Minoru Mochizuki and Tadashi Abe in France, Kenji Tomiki in USA, Hiroshi Tada in Italy, Seiichi Sugano in Australia among others.
At later stage Aikido also gain its fame when exhibited in Hollywood movies by Steven Seagal – a prominent Aikido master who also a Hollywood movie star.