Bringing the spirit of Aikido to the Ryde, Epping & Parramatta community

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that blends with the energy of an attack to redirect the force rather than defeat it. It is a dynamic and flowing form of non-violent self-defence.

The principles, techniques and movements of Aikido involve remaining relaxed, focused and centered, harmonising with the energy of an attack, and leading it to a peaceful resolution. In remaining focused and in the present moment, Aikido becomes a form of moving meditation.

Aikido Kanji: 'Ai'=harmony; 'ki'=universal energy, 'do'=wayThe term “Aikido” (pronounced ”eye” – “key” – “doe”) is written using three Japanese characters or kanji :

“ai” – harmony,

“ki” – spirit, mind, or universal energy, and

“do” – the Way.

Thus Aikido is “the Way of Harmony with Universal Energy”.

At the core of Aikido training, there are two fundamental threads: (i) a commitment to peaceful resolution of conflict whenever possible, and (ii) a commitment to self-improvement through Aikido training.

Aikido has no tournaments or competitions. Instead, all Aikido techniques are learned cooperatively at the level of each student’s ability.

Aikido is not about conquering an opponent, but more about conquering our own limitations, fears and weaknesses. According to the founder, the goal of Aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit our own mind and inhibit its functioning. The principles of Aikido can be applied effectively as a martial art, and also in how we live our day-to-day lives.

John Stevens, in his popular book, The Art of Peace (2002) states “Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido taught the Art of Peace as a creative mind-body discipline, as a practical means of handling aggression, and as a way of life that fosters fearlessness, wisdom, love and friendship. The master interpreted the Art of Peace in the broadest possible sense and believed that its principles of reconciliation, harmony, cooperation, and empathy could be applied bravely to all the challenges we face in life – in personal relations, in our interactions with other human beings in society, at work, and in business, and when dealing with nature. Everyone can be a warrior for peace.”

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“To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace”.— Morihei Ueshiba

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HISTORY OF AIKIDO

Aikido was developed in the early part of last century by the late Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) often referred to as O-Sensei (or “great teacher”).

O-Sensei mastered various forms of martial arts, most notably Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (unarmed defense), Kenjitsu (sword) and Sojitsu (spear) on his path to establishing Aikido. O-Sensei devoted himself to hard physical conditioning and the practice of martial arts. In spite of his impressive physical and martial capabilities, however, he felt dissatisfied. He began delving into religions in hopes of finding a deeper significance to life.

In the late 1920’s O-Sensei began to diverge from the harder marital arts, partly due to his involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. He wanted to develop an art which was noncompetitive and less destructive than his previous training. By combining his martial training with his ideologies, he created the modern martial art of Aikido. Ueshiba decided on the name “Aikido” in 1942.

O-Sensei - Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969)

Click on image of O’Sensei to link to historical videos

Whilst the technical side of Aikido is rooted in those styles of jujitsu, sword and spear arts, many Aikido techniques are the result of Master Ueshiba’s own innovation.

Throughout his life O-Sensei continued to develop Aikido and his styles of training changed as he became softer yet more powerful in his training.

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“True victory is victory over the self!”— Morihei Ueshiba

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“Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there. Enter deeply into an attack and neutralise it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.” — Morihei Ueshiba

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