Frequently Asked Questions
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a modern martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba in Japan in the early to middle part of the 20th Century. Osensei, as he is known by his students and their descendents was a world renowned master of fighting arts before he experienced a spiritual enlightenment in which he realized that the purpose of a warrior in the modern age is not to defeat opponents but to reconcile differences. In the 1930's, Osensei transformed what he knew as life-taking arts to life-saving arts. This initial paradigm shift was followed by three more decades of study in which the Founder refined his understanding. Even though its roots are in effective martial technique to deal with deadly attack and meant to do so effectively, Aikido was proclaimed by Osensei to be a spiritual art. At the heart of aikido is the paradox of a martial art meant to protect the attacker.
From the time of the Founder's death in 1969 at the age of 86 to the present time, the number of people practicing aikido has gone from perhaps a few hundred to tens of millions.
Part of the reason Aikido has spread so widely so rapidly is that it is the only martial art with the expressed purpose of ending a fight, not winning a fight, with no one being bested or hurt.