What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title ‘O Sensei).
On a purely physical level it is an art involving multiple movements including throws and joint locks derived from ancient Jujutsu (hand to hand skills) and Kenjutsu (sword skills). Aikido’s primary focus is not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on blending energies to bring back balance and harmony to a given situation. the art places a great emphasis on balance, motion, and the dynamics of movement.

When practicing Aikido, practitioners will discover many benefits such as: warrior martial art skills, applicable self-defense techniques, true confidence from within, conflict resolution, spiritual enlightenment, physical health, and peace of mind. ‘O Sensei emphasized the moral and spiritual aspects of this art, placing great weight on the development of harmony and peace. “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit” is one way that “Aikido” may be translated into English. Different styles of Aikido emphasize the more spiritual aspects to a greater or lesser degree. The idea of a martial discipline that strives for peace and harmony may seem paradoxical, but it is the most basic tenet of the art.

This was an attempt to explain/pigeonhole Aikido into a summary of words, but that would not do the art justice. I prefer to leave it up to the practitioners of Aikido to find out what Aikido is for themselves without any preconceived notions.