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Aikido of Houston

About Aikido

Aikido is the principle of nonresistance.
~ O-Sensei

Aikidoís founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. As a boy, he often saw local thugs beat up his father for political reasons. He set out to make himself strong so that he could take revenge. He devoted himself to hard physical conditioning and eventually to the practice of martial arts, receiving certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing and spear fighting. In spite of his impressive physical and martial capabilities, he felt very dissatisfied. He began delving into religions in hopes of finding a deeper significance to life, all the while continuing to pursue his studies of budo, or the martial arts. By combining his martial training with his religious and political ideologies, he created the modern martial art of Aikido. O-Sensei decided on the name Aikido in 1942 (prior to that he called his martial art aikibudo and aikinomichi).

Aikido is rooted in several styles of jujitsu (from which modern judo is also derived), in particular Daito-ryu(aiki) jujitsu, as well as sword and spear fighting arts. Oversimplifying somewhat, we may say that Aikido takes the joint locks and throws from jujitsu and combines them with the body movements of sword and spear fighting. However, we must also realize that many Aikido techniques are the result of O-Senseiís own innovation.

On the surface, it appears to be an art involving pins and throws that were evolved from jiu-jitsu as well as kenjutsu, jojutsu and other arts. Aikido does not focus on blocking, punching and kicking. Instead, the emphasis is on uniting your efforts with the attacker to control the situation. It is not a static art but places a great deal of emphasis on the dynamics of movement. Upon deeper examination, you may find self-defense, peace of mind, physical fitness or greater teachings.

Aikido can be translated as follows: Ai means Unite or Combine, Ki is the Energy inherent in any object or being, and Do means Way or Path, resulting in a translation of Combine Energy Way. Some place more emphasis on different components to greater or lesser degrees. It is important to remember that Aikido is a Budo, where Bu is often translated as War but literally means Stop Spear and Do means Way resulting in a translation of Stop Spear Way. It may seem paradoxical for a martial art to strive for peace, but it is an essential understanding to any martial art.