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Introduction to Aikido

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba

What is Aikido?

Generally known as a non-violent art of self defense, Aikido was originated by Master Morihei Ueshiba after many years of training in martial arts and religion. It is one of the most modern of all Japanese budo -- way of life through the principles of martial arts. Its outstanding features are its refinement from a physical martial art to a spiritual but highly efficient art of self defense and a way of life that people from all walks of life can enjoy. It was first called "Aiki-Budo," then changed to "Aikido" in 1942 to shift its emphasis from a martial art to a way of life by removing the word "bu" which means martial. The word "Aikido" comes from "Ai," meaning harmony, oneness, agreement; "Ki," meaning nature or universal energy; and "Do," meaning road, path, or a way of life. Aikido, then, is a "Way of life through harmony with nature."