Introduction to Aikido
Aikido (the way of harmonising the energy of the universe) is first and foremost a martial art but it is also much more. At its most basic level Aikido is a system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, coupled with training in the use of sword (bokken), staff (jo) and knife (tanto) techniques. Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century and has now grown to be one of the world’s most popular martial arts.
The essence of Aikido is basically the harmony of Aikido and the mind. A fundamental axiom of aikido is that the gentle can control the strong through the study of techniques. However, aikido is more than simply a physical skill which coordinates with the opponent's movement. Taken a step further, this means that the aikidoka must understand his opponent and share his feelings; so the final objective is not to inflict injury but to cultivate a sense of harmony.
As a form of Budo (the martial way), Aikido is more than a fighting art. It is a path of personal discovery and character improvement. The path on which you have taken the first steps is different for each person but if you train hard you will see improvements in many areas of your life. Some of the benefits include increased physical fitness, improved self-confidence and a greater awareness of yourself and your boundaries as well as those of people around you.