There’s no mistaken the fact that Aikido is one of the best and most popular martial art in the United States today. The art of Aikido is best associated with actor Steven Seagal, who made it even more popular with his movies. Aikido is rich and history in tradition, an art that originally started in Japan back in the 1940s.
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born on December 14, 1883. As he was growing up in modern Japan, Ueshiba witnessed the local thugs vandalize his father. The young boy decided that he would make himself strong in order to seek revenge against the thugs. Ueshiba was strong willed, and devoted every waking moment to physical training and martial arts.
He received a lot of certificates in jujitsu, spear fighting, and fencing. Even though he was very impressive with his abilities, he found himself not happy with his skills. He knew that there was more to it, and began to look into religion, hoping that he would find a greater significance with life - pursuing martial arts all the while.
Ueshiba founded the martial art of Aikido by combining both his religious beliefs and his training in martial arts. At that time, the style was known as aikibudo, it wasn’t until 1942 that he decided to go with the name Aikido. The style was quite different indeed, incorporating several different styles of jujitsu, aiki-jujitsu, and spear and sword fighting techniques as well.
Even though a lot of us think of Aikido as the ultimate martial art, it is an art that is based on religion and harmony. Aikido uses joint locks, weight manipulation, and throws to achieve it’s purpose. The martial art is very effective, which were the intentions of Ueshiba from the start. Aikido consists of many techniques, and it is the result of Ueshiba’s creative innovation.
Aside from what many think, there really is no unified belief or philosophy in the martial art of Aikido. While Aikido is indeed rich in heritage and religion, it believes in harmony and peace of the spirit. By achieving a higher spiritual power, Ueshiba has always believed that the human body is capable of anything. Even though he wanted revenge, he still stated that Aikido wasn’t about fighting, but rather a way to reconcile with the world and make every human being on giant family.
Over the years, Aikido was introduced in America with amazing results. Steven Seagal is by far the most popular, showing the world the power and harmony of Aikido through his many movies. There are a lot of martial arts dojo’s around North America that offer Aikido to study, possibly even some in your area. Not only will Aikido teach you self defense, but it will also teach you harmony of the spirit and how to find inner peace as well.
The Way of Harmonizing Energy
The word "Aikido," broken down into its three components, is Ai - harmony, Ki - energy, Do - martial way. That is, Aikido is "the way of harmonizing energy."
The purpose of Aikido is not to fight with someone and attack them, but rather to diffuse an attack by blending the energies of the "uke" (literally, one who receives, as in a throw) and the "nage" ("the thrower").