The Japanese martial art of Aikido is a comprehensive system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, coupled with training in traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, staff and knife. Founded by Morihei Ueshiba early in the twentieth century following his own extensive study of various armed and unarmed martial systems, Aikido represents a potent distillation of centuries of Japanese martial knowledge. It is one of the most widely practiced budo, or martial way, in the world. However, Ueshiba (commonly called O-Sensei, or “venerable teacher”) was determined that his “Progress comes to those who train and train. Reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.”
-Morihei UeshibaAikido be practiced as more than simply a method of fighting. The Japanese martial arts, influenced by the internal and meditative disciplines inherited from India and China, have often carried with them an emphasis on the development of internal, as well as physical, integrity. Wielding the life-taking sword with compassion and insight, the ideal warrior in Japanese thought is more than a simple killing machine; he is a model of uprightness, courage and loyalty, gladly sacrificing life (but never honor) in the name of principle and duty. Steeped in these traditions, O-Sensei conceived of Aikido as not only a means of vanquishing a foe, but as a means of promoting the positive character of the ideal warrior and ultimately of transcending dualistic conflict. For O-Sensei, Aikido was a path of self-development. He believed that it could be a means for anyone, of any nation, to follow the same path. Aikido is shugyo: an intense physical and spiritual training to perfect human character and develop true wisdom.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba’s involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba’s early students’ documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu.
Ueshiba’s senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending partly on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques formulated by Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker.
In aikido, as in virtually all Japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering both general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as specific techniques. Because a substantial portion of any aikido curriculum consists of throws, beginners learn how to safely fall or roll. The specific techniques for attack include both strikes and grabs; the techniques for defense consist of throws and pins. After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and techniques with weapons.
Aikido is Japans most modern martial arts. It principles were discovered by Morihei Uyeshiba. His physical journey from a weak kid to a robust healthy man and founder of such a superior art is commendable. He studied various martial arts of his time during his training period, he showed utmost courtesy to his teachers. Once training started he devoted himself completely. His determination and devotion was to train so that he could triumph over all others. He became the most proficient man in martial arts in Japan. In fact he was invincible. It is then, it dawned on him that throwing others, striking them down to fight and prevail over them was meaningless to win means that some day we shall lose. Today victor will be vanquished tomorrow. A realiasation dawned on him that martial art training is not training that has its primary purpose of defeating others, but true martial arts is that which regulate without struggle the Ki of the universe, guard the peace of the world, and produce and bring to maturity everything in nature. It’s about practice of God’s love within ourselves.
To express such lofty feeling was impossible through the martial arts and other methods that existed at that time, so professor Uyeshiba with a lot of experimenting and changes finally created what is the Aikido today. The violent and fierce arts previously practiced changed into a gentle harmonious art called Aikido. It is a way without end harmonious with nature.
Aikido comprises of three words “Ai” meaning “Harmonious” “KI” meaning intrinsic energy “Do” meaning way of the Life. Aikidotherefore is to be in harmony with ones intrinsic energy, nature and make it a way of life. In Aikido every technique was designed in obedience to the laws of nature so that there is no strain in its execution. Obey the laws of nature in all your movements and win, disobey and loose.
Aikido is not merely an art of self defence but into its techniques and movement are woven elements of philosophy, psychology and dynamics. As you learn the various techniques, you will at the same time train your mind, improve your health and develop an unbreakable self confidence. If the art of leading the mind is learned and mastered even a woman, a child or the old could defend themselves, easily and develop amazing strength.
Ketsugo system of self defence has incorporated Aikido because of this very fact that it could be used across all age and gender as an effective medium of self defence. The aspect of the use of all form of power (mind, body, & spirit) in unison with nature helps makes Ketsugo a formidable & invincible system of self defence.