Aikido is a martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba in Japan the 1930s. It has its origins in Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, and is related to Judo and Japanese Jujutsu. It consists primarily of empty-handed throwing and joint-locking techniques, but includes training with the short staff (jo) and sword (bokken) as well as knife and gun takeaways. Many of the movements of Aikido derive from Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu).
We do not have competitions or sparring matches. We train with partners and focus on learning to harmonize with our opponents. We learn to direct our energy (ki) through the application of physics and mental and physical discipline. Breathing and footwork are very important in Aikido, so it can be a very difficult martial art to learn.
Many people also appreciate the spiritual and self-developmental aspects of Aikido. Sometimes referred to as the Way of Peace, it teaches us to learn to harmonize with ourselves, other people, and ultimately the Universe. Many people enjoy Aikido as both a martial exercise and a means to personal growth and self-fulfillment.