Introduction to Aikido
Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba, December 14th 1883- April 26th 1969, in Iwama, Ibaraki Japan. The founder used his training in several classic Japanese martial arts such as Daito-Ryu Jujutsu and Goto-Ha Yagyu Shingan Ryu; as well as his spiritual training in the Omoto Kyo religion to create Aikido.
After the Founders passing in 1969 his most devoted disciple, Morihiro Saito Shihan, became the chief instructor at the Founder’s Dojo and Aiki-Shrine caretaker in Iwama, Ibaraki, Japan until his passing in 2002. Morihiro Saito Shihan trained directly and cared for the Founder for 23 years.
The main objective for Aikido is to blend and redirect the momentum of your attacker in order to render the strike ineffective, regardless the size of your opponent. We achieve this goal by learning how to precisely unbalance your opponent using leverage, inertia, and ki. Aikido is not reliant on strength which makes it martial art men and women of all ages can participate in.
Lastly, Aikido is not just taijutsu (open hand technique), but also incorporated in Aikido is the Aiki-ken (wooden sword) and Aiki-jo (wooden staff). Training with the ken or jo helps students focus on footwork, extension, and centering principles of Aikido. Training with the ken or jo also helps develop or maintain grip strength which is essential when performing open hand techniques.