Aikido is a Japanese discipline, which embodies the ancient traditions of the Rising Sun. It was founded in the 40s by the greatest martial arts expert of the time, Morihei Ueshiba (side).
Since his childhood, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) applied himself to the study of combat martial arts (Bujutsu), of which he soon bacame a renown expert. From this expertise and from the study of phylosophy and religion, he developed the foundation concepts of Aikido. This led him to question the value of defeating others and to go beyond combat. He recognized that the limits within ourselves are the real enemies, such as aggressiveness, the wish of prevailing, ambition, and selfishness, which harm the complete development of our human potential. By going beyond those limits we acquire inner strength and complete control of our being.
This is not a sport. Aikido is a martial art, as translation of the Japanese word Budo, not Bujutsu. Maybe it would be better described as martial way, in order to avoid misunderstandings: the goal is not winning a fight but improving oneself. To achieve this, the ancient Daito Ryu Aikijutsu and Kenjutsu techniques used in combat by the Japanese Samurai have been properly modified so thay can benefit the human body, instead of destroying it.
Here, the partner is a means, not someone to crash down. In Aikido we don’t fight against the others, but against our inner limits, our fears and insecurities. With this kind of training we reveal our true selves, it is impossible to wear a “mask”.
The Aikido training involves respecting some Japanese traditions, suc as the uniform or bowing upon entering and leaving the mat, as well as before and after class. The warm-up (aiki taiso) which follows, is aimed to concentrating on the perception of our body by performing the same body movements (tai sabaki) tha twill be performed during regular training. These are very simple movements, although thay may seem more complex for a beginner.
The teacher shows some techniques tha tthe trainees are to perform working in pairs. The techinques have Japanese names that are also to be memorized. Joint locks and throws, with ensuing rolls, are gradually learned, in full respect of each one’s capabilities and according to human physiology.