Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), who mastered the principles of Japanese Martial Art, then went through hard training and developed the "Art" into the "Way" which became the modern Budo.
Aikido is not fighting with force. The techniques which derive from IRIMI and TENKAN only control others'violent force and does not promote bloodshed. It is suitable for the present time when many believe cherishing people's lives is important.
This is one of the reasons why Aikido should be called as the Budo of "harmony".
Founder Morihei Ueshiba said "Aiki is not fighting and defeating the opponent". Aikido is a training of one's body and soul through repeated practice with others depending on their level of skill. By mastering the circular movement, one will develop the heart of harmony (joy, strength, freedom and tenderness) which is the essence of Aikido.
Characteristic of Aikido is the movement of circular motion as in IRIMI and MAAI, and the techniques that come out from absolute centering of balance. With Aikido one can control others with one natural and beautiful movement. Aikido does not require special physical strength, thus anyone who is willing can join the practice.
Aikido has no tournaments. There is no such idea as "Defeating others" in the spirit of Aikido. Tounaments develop desire for victory and defeat. Aikido is a Budo that places self-dicipline as the most important factor. With everyday practice of strengthening body and soul, good health and a strong mind is earned.
As of now Aikido is loved by 1,500,000 people in 85 countries. Anyone including the elderly, women and children can learn the Budo for lifetime.
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