Aikido is a Japanese system of self-defence whose origins can be traced back to the 12th century. It was created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969) as a basis for both physical and spiritual development. It is an art that does not seek to meet violence with violence and yet maintains its martial origins. It is based on spherical movements by which an attackers aggressive force is turned against itself .
The main form of Aikido techniques are joint immobilisation and throws using the opponents momentum.
In addition to throws Aikido employs a variety of techniques applied to the attackers joints. When applied these techniques will leave no serious injury only the swift neutralisation of an attack. However, if necessary the techniques can be lethal.
Aikido is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of the martial arts and embraces an immense range of techniques that may be employed against all manner of attack, armed or otherwise. It is unique in that it teaches the practitioner to defend against attack by more than one assailant.
Practices with bokken and jo serve to assist understanding of techniques and their development.