Aikido (合気道, aikidō), translated as “the way of harmonious spirit”, is a modern Japanese martial art (gendai budō) developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Ueshiba’s goal was to create a martial art through which a practitioner could achieve the ability to defend himself without injuring his attacker.
Aikido emphasizes joining with an attack and redirecting the attacker’s energy, as opposed to meeting force with force, and consists primarily of body throws and joint-locking techniques. In addition to physical fitness and techniques, mental training, controlled relaxation, and development of “spirit” (ki) are emphasized in aikido training.
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