Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba,
from the 1930s onwards, by bringing a new
understanding of dissolving attack and
defence to traditional Japanese martial arts.
AI = love and harmony
Ki = = life force, energy, chin. Qi
DO = the path of personal growth and developement
True to this translation, the combination of
martial art and spirituality leads to aikido
being an individual path of gradual developement,
on which the realisation ripens to understand
the opponent as partner. What starts as
threatening attack is more and more tranformed
into a welcomed energy in space, which is
blended with one's own movements through
the techniques of aikido. To become one with
the partner is, according to Ueshiba, the
first step to ultimately become one with
the whole universe.
Gradual developement in aikido means:
To practise the techniques with a partner,
as budo (way of the warrior). Intensive and
regular training leads to suppleness of body
and a strengthened trust in ones own abilities.
The thus gained confidence in your body can
be extended to embrace the partner (attacker).
The one person's physical and mental flexibility
becomes a unifying motion, which merges both,
assailant and defender, into a union.
When fixed notions of attack and defence are
gradually dissolved, aikido turns into a
joyous meeting of energies which come together
in play, and then separate again. The understanding
of this principle can be transferred to any
form of contact or encounter; in this way,
aikido can be understood as a universal path.
(German text by Stephan Harmanus, translated by Melanie Lindenthal)