Aikido means the “Way of Harmony”. It is a modern martial art, developed in the early 1900’s by Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba Sensei, or O-Sensei (Great Teacher), believed that the way to defeat an attacker is to bring them under your control by blending with their oncoming force.
The present site of the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo is the cradle of Aikido. The Aikikai Foundation is the head office of the International Aikido Federation, the world centre for developing Aikido and the only Aikido organisation recognised by the Japanese Ministry of Education. The position of Ni-Dai Doshu [2nd Headmaster] was assumed by Kisshomaru Ueshiba in 1969 upon the death of O-Sensei. Doshu became the President of the International Aikido Federation in 1976 at its first congress. Mr Kisshomaru Ueshiba passed away on 4 January 1999. O-Sensei’s grandson Mr Moriteru Ueshiba assumed the position of San-Dai Doshu in February 1999.
Techniques in Aikido start with an initial blending of power, a movement to take the balance of the attacker, and then continue to a pin or a throw. Techniques can be practiced at any speed, and the practice itself is a co-operation between the Uke (Attacker) and Nage (Defender) to allow the Nage to practice the technique, and the Uke to receive the technique safely.
This co-operation means that Aikido is suitable for practitioners of any age and skill level, and it allows ukes to build up the necessary skills to receive fast and powerful techniques.