What  is  Aikido

(…concept and definition)…

In Aikido, rather than clash with your attacker- you train to unite and synchronize your energy with that of the attacker, to evade or redirect and neutralize the attack.


A traditional way practiced for self-improvement and self-defence


A way practiced to develop health, balance and harmony in one’s life


An art that at it’s highest is conducted on an intuitive level without planning or strategy.

Takemusu Aiki


It is harmony of energy


The way to develop the unity and realization of the intuitive spirit


A traditional martial art


A sport (Tomiki)






An art practiced to unify mind, body, spirit and energy


A martial art/way that is ‘young’ compared to its contemporaries, (but its roots go back a very long way).


An art also used on the offensive… any who may consider themselves Aiki ‘purist’- will probably be alarmed… this is in the concept of pre-emptive defence.


An art used only in defence or self-defence


The way of peace.

The Way to Harmonize Energies

Aikido may be considered any, or a fusion of the above.. Aikido, like many subjects is, well…, subjective, and everyone has a right to their interpretation and opinion.

I offer the following as a simple outline on Aikido and its initial familial lineage….

Aikido is a martial way/art that is intriguing… Aikido- the Way to Harmonize Energies, is the martial art and way established by….


Morihei Ueshiba

Respectfully referred to as

O’Sensei, (Great Teacher).

O’Sensei was a man of exceptional discipline, dedication and insight, highly skilled in a variety of martial arts. His continuing martial arts practice and training combined with his meditation and spiritual endeavours eventually led to his refining this eclectic system to an art in itself which he named Aikido.

   Ueshiba Morihei O’Sensei

(December 14th 1883- April 26th 1969)

The name of Aikido is made up of three characters:




Ai     Harmony; Unity;  to meet;

          Principle of integration.


Ki     Life energy; Spirit energy; 

          Centralized and coordinated 

          energy in technique


Do   Way; Path of a discipline, 

          combining principles and 

          elements of practice and



After O’Sensei passed away his son was inaugurated with the title of 2nd Doshu of the Aikikai on 14th June 1970













Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei


Kisshomaru Sensei was greatly influential in ensuring the preservation and continuance of the dojo during the turmoil of war.  He worked on modifying and systemizing some of the technical curriculum/syllabi of Aikido.

Just as his father had given the message that Aikido is for everyone, Kisshomaru Sensei sought to widen the teaching and understanding of Aikido internationally.

A quiet and disciplined man who retained a firm vision of the development of Aikido.

Following the death of Kisshomaru Sensei the title of Aikido Doshu passed to his son

  Ueshiba  Kisshomaru Sensei

(June 27th 1921 – January 4th1999)













Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei



Moriteru Sensei had been the Dojo-cho (Dojo Director) of the Aikikai and was inaugurated as 3rd Doshu on September 25th 1999.  He has travelled extensively to conduct Aikido seminars and promote Aikido world wide.

  Ueshiba  Moriteru Sensei

   (April 2nd 1951 - present)



Ueshiba Mitsuteru Waka Sensei    (Born 1980)

The son of the third and current Doshu and a great-grandson of Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of Aikido, Waka Sensei is expected to succeed his father as Doshu, becoming the fourth Doshu.

Since April 2011 Waka Sensei has joined the teaching panel of the Hombu Dojo and has been the acting dojocho of Ibaraki Prefecture Aikikai Iwama dojo since April 2010.


You will note that the names of each of the Doshu/Sensei are given in the Japanese way.


For each person Aikido (like any martial way or art) gradually evolves; it is said that O’Sensei’s Aikido altered over time (due to age, practice and depth of insight) but not at the loss of Aiki principles, and Aikido underwent further and maybe similar changes as a result of the diversification of focus (for instance on the execution of techniques, forms and practice) by O’Sensei’s uchideshi and other direct students (dependent on at what stage of O’Sensei’s life they received instruction from him) and still further by later Shihan, instructors and organisations.

…Some of these changes eventually go ‘full circle’,….


At whatever level, there is something that is paramount to healthy development…


Cultivate an open mind, and remember......

People may change

Dynamics may change

(Aikido) Principles remain the same


The concept and definition of Aikido is Harmony…...
(towards maintaining or regaining balance).


The existence of Ai:  Ai is Harmony; Such harmony as in-

  • Unity;     To meet;     Principle of integration;
  • The co-ordination of people or something working together, whether deliberately or not.


The question of the existence of Ki:  Ki is Energy; Such as the energy in-

  • Spirit energy/spark of life, such as maintains a living body; if you doubt this compare the difference of a living body to a corpse!
  • Energy (Positive energy) where someone initiates or controls an event;
  • Or energy that is within momentum and dynamic occurrence.
  • Centralized and co-ordinated energy in technique

Note: Ki is not some esoteric gobbledygook as some teachers or instructors may suggest in order to mystify someone they consider a naïve and gullible student.


The question of Do:  Do is the Way; A path of discipline;

  • To practice (and commit) to principles and elements of endeavour.


To regain harmony in conflict…a simplified explanation of Aikido is the use of the centralized and coordinated energy of your own response, not only to parry or block or counter an attack but to harmonize with the energy and dynamics of the attacker, redirecting and turning that energy back on him- in essence using the attacker's own force to lead him into a technique… either to evade or redirect but ultimately to effectively neutralize his attack.


Ways to improve oneself…




(Way of the Samurai)

Other Ways include…


(Japanese Archery)


(Japanese Calligraphy)


(Tea Ceremony)



The methods practiced in each of these Ways, and others are founded on traditional principles; each principle is intrinsic of the whole.


Note; Links to other Arts and Ways are listed on the Links page.

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