合気道 Aikido is a budo ("martial art") created in Japan by Ueshiba Morihei (1883-1969).
Ueshiba Morihei studied martial arts from an early age. Years of intense practice brought deep transformative insight and he chose the name "Aikido" for his way of practice, for his approach to budo.
"Aiki" as a general martial arts principle involves blending (rather than clashing) with an attack and neutralizing it harmoniously, with minimum force. To read deeper on Aiki as a martial arts principle, see Wikipedia article on Aiki
Aikido is the "Way of Aiki", where the term Aiki, while containing the above general meaning is extended to include the attainment (through constant practice) of a number of experiences, including:
- The experience of peace, harmony, non-violence.
- The experience of alignment with the fundamental life stream.
Aikido is open to young and old, male and female, able and challenged. There is no competition, contest or fighting as such. The emphasis is on paired practice, in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation.
If you don't know much about Aikido and wish to explore further via videos on the Internet, the links in Video Introduction to Aikido may be helpful.
In Aikido , first we must know ourselves; next we must know that all elements of the universe are contained within us; then we must discern the true nature of the cosmos. Do this, understand the laws of nature, and you will be radiant, able to execute marvelous techniques - Ueshiba Morihei