Aikido (eye-key-dough) is a classical Japanese martial way that is a discipline, an educational process for training the mind, body and spirit. Negative force is not met with conflict, but joined, controlled and redirected through the power and balance of spiral movements. Aikido does not focus on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement.
Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. It is not the art of fighting, or narrow technique (No Competition), but an art of personal refinement and of protecting the quality of life. It helps produce a desire to protect society and to protect all life.
The final aim of Aikido training is personal transformation. Its goal is the creation of integrated human beings who can bring the totality of their wisdom and capabilities to resolve a problem. However, philosophical discussion is rare in the dojo (training hall). The focus is highly practical. Constant repetition to master the fundamentals of movement, timing and breathing is the basic requirement. Practitioners train themselves to capture an opponent’s action and redirect it with techniques of martial efficiency and power. At the same time, they become aware of the tendency to overreact to opposition, and learn to remain centered under all conditions.
Increased stamina, flexibility, and muscle development occur naturally as a result of training, but the techniques themselves do not depend on strength for effectiveness. Since Aikido’s movements and techniques arise from the most efficient utilization of the entire being, great power can be developed by the practitioner, regardless of physical strength. Aikido practice encompasses a broad range of training styles, and allows people to train based on their individual stage of development. As a result, Aikido can be practiced by men, women and children of all ages.