“The Way of Harmony”,
“The Art of Peace”.
The word aikidō is made up of three kanji characters:
Thus, aikidō is literally "the path of harmony with universal energy".
Essentially, Aikido is the latest and most modern exponent of the Japanese martial arts, generally known as “budo”. In this respect, it inherits the martial and spiritual tradition of ancient Japan.
It was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), also known as O-Sensei (“Great Master”).
Aikido is not based in hitting the opponent, but in using his own energy to control him. It is not a static art, instead it places great emphasis in the dynamic movements.
In the practice of Aikido, a special emphasis is made in developing the inner energy, what we call “Ki”, which becomes a fundamental basis in the learning and execution of Aikido.
Practitioners will find in Aikido an art for self-defense, spiritual growing, physical health and inner peace.
Because it is not based in physical strength, Aikido is equally adequate for both young people and adults and is ideal for children.
O-Sensei introduced moral and spiritual aspects to this art, putting a lot of emphasis in the development of harmony and peace and to this day, Aikido still continues like this, even when the idea of a martial discipline that strives for peace and harmony seems paradoxical, it is the most basic principle of the art of Aikido.
Aikido practitioners experience advantages and improvements in different aspects
It improves cardiovascular endurance. Increases strength, resistance and muscle tone.
Significantly improves the flexibility.
Increases movement coordination. Improves static and dynamic balance.
Enhances the reflexes and reaction speed.
The ability of coordinating movements with breathing is acquired.
The techniques adapt to the practitioner.
Being fit or any other special skill is not required.
It allows you to know yourself and your limits better.
It helps overcoming those limits.
Improves focus and concentration.
It helps disconnecting from everyday problems.
You get to learn emotion management and control of your thoughts and feelings.
Improves stress management and control.
It helps you relax and calm down in stressful situations.
Improves social relationships since everyone practices with everyone, no matter the level, age or gender.
It creates a very nice work environment because the practice is based on mutual respect and trust in your partner.
Practicing with everyone and physical contact during the techniques creates bonds amongst partners.
This environment extrapolates outside the practice, Aikido groups usually do not only interact in the tatami.