Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), as a result of a long-standing practice in many different styles of traditional martial arts of his time, like Aiki-Jutsu (Unarmed Techniques), Ken-Jutsu (Sword Techniques), Jo-Jutsu (Staff Techniques).
Morihei Ueshiba observed that the traditional Japanese styles of martial arts used the element of muscle power and excessive force in order to defend against an attack. Very often put such questions to himself as:
- What would I do if I encounter someone physically stronger than me?
- How can overpower someone without using any weapons?
- How can I neutralize an attack without the use reckless violence?
In other words, how can we devise a defense against someone bigger in size and martial experience, without seeking his complete destruction?
Considering these questions he finaly created the art of Aikido, which unlike the martial arts of that time, brought innovation not only in technical, but also the moral level of martial arts.
The purpose of Aikido is not the prevalence or victory over the opponent, but true victory, which comes with overcoming the all the negative qualities of our personality. The training at the physical level has nothing to do with competition, since aikido is not competitive, but with personal growth and self-realization through the exercise of discipline.
The key element of Aikido is blending with the opponent's movement, allowing the defender to produce maximum effect with minimum use of force or violence. This is achieved by exploiting the momentum of the attacker, breaking the balance of the body, and finally neutralizing the attack either by throwing or pinning techniques.