Aikido (合気道) is a Japanese martial art dating from the 1940s that was created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Morihei Ueshiba is often referred to as O Sensei, meaning great teacher, by practioners of aikido. He created his art from a synthesis of his religious beliefs and philosophies and the various other arts he’d studied throught his liftetime, the most important of which for the development of aikido was Daito Ryu Aiki Ju Jitsu (大東流合気柔術). The word aikido means “the way of unifying with life energy” or “the way of the harmonious spirit”. Aikido utilises the aggressive intent and energy of an opponent to subdue them and does not depend on size or strength to accomplish this. The techniques of aikido are effective against single or multiple attackers and are often taught using Japanese weapons such as the bokken (a wooden katana, or Japanese samurai sword) and jo (a Japanese short staff). aikido also teaches effective relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and the enhancement of ‘Ki’, a Japanese word meaning life energy, power or spirit.
Although a relatively recent art, aikido has gained a widespread following around the world and produced many notable teachers, the aikido masters who are of most importance to our lineage in the Takagashira Dojo are: Koichi Tohei Sensei and Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei.