Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba

Aikido (合気道, aikidō) /eye-Kee-doh/ is a Japanese martial art.[1] It was developed by Morihei Ueshiba.[2]

One version of shihōnage where the attacker (uke) is standing and the defender (nage) sitting. This is called hanmi-handachi. The uke is being thrown, and is taking a breakfall (ukemi) to safely reach the ground.
Country of originJapan Japan
CreatorMorihei Ueshiba
Famous practitionersKisshomaru Ueshiba, Moriteru Ueshiba, Steven Seagal, Christian Tissier, Morihiro Saito, Koichi Tohei
ParenthoodAiki-jūjutsu; Jujutsu; Kenjutsu; Sōjutsu, Bojutsu, Iaijutsu

Aikido is based on Ueshiba's philosophy, martial arts training and religious beliefs. The word "aikido" is often translated as "the way of unifying (with) life energy"[3] or as "the way of harmonious spirit."[4] Ueshiba wanted to create an art where people could defend themselves without harming their attacker by using the attackers "ki" against them. He wanted each practitioner of aikido to develop both physically and spiritually.

Aikido is performed by blending with the way the attacker moves, using the force of the attack rather than coming against it. This is achieved by using the attackers "ki" against them. This takes very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (person who does aikido) uses the force of the attacker's own momentum using stepping and turning movements. The techniques are completed with many different throws or joint locks which can be combined with different defenses.[5] Aikido is one of many grappling arts.

Aikido is based on the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to separate from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba's early students' records use the name aiki-jūjutsu.[6] Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with different groups placing importance on different things. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the safety of the attacker.



  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Aikidō" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 12.
  2. Nussbaum, "Ueshiba Morihei" at p. 1008.
  3. Saotome, Mitsugi (1989). The Principles of Aikido. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala. p. 222. ISBN 978-0877734093.
  4. Westbrook, Adele; Ratti, Oscar (1970). Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company. pp. 16–96. ISBN 978-0804800044.
  5. Pranin, Stanley (2006). "Aikido". Encyclopedia of Aikido. Archived from the original on 2006-12-06. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
  6. Pranin, Stanley (2006). "Aikijujutsu". Encyclopedia of Aikido. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2010-08-15.

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