The word, in fact, means, “method or way - DO for the Coordination or Harmony - AI of Mental Energy or Spirit – KI ”. The particular martial art method developed by Master Morihei Uyeshiba in Japan which he referred to as "aikido" combines practical self-defense movements taken from sword and spear fighting, jujutsu, aikijutsu and other ancient, more esoteric forms of the martial arts—with an emphasis from the very first moment of practice upon a characteristic centralization of thought and action, and the extension of mental energy or ki that makes this such an intriguing art. it is unique method of self-defense equally adaptable to and effective against a single attacker or several. Moreover, in a manner which makes aikido practice possible for people of all ages and both sexes.But why do we say that aikido is unique? Almost every martial art can claim to be an efficient means of self-defense and many can be safely practiced by old and young a like. How does aikido differ from all the others? The difference lies in the essential motivations and characteristic effects which indetify its practice, and the early as well as continuing emphasis placed upon them. these includede the following: Aikido. purely in its practical application, is an art of self-defense.

It is entirely reflexive, and related ethically to defense against an unprovoked attack. There is no attack in aikido. When the techniques are applied by aikidoists who have achieved a certain degree of mastery in the art, they will leave no serious injury in their wake.There constant reference to the hara or a man's "Centre" (i.e., (center of gravity), as the point of concentration of energy; there is the predominance of references to ki, or "Inner Energy," as the particular form of energy to be employed. Finally, there is the interesting pos­sibility of expanding these concepts and their relevance to areas outside the comparatively restricted world of the martial arts. There is the characteristic strategy (i.e., movements, displacements, technigues) peculiar to the, and the emphasis upon circularity or "sphericity" in the application of that strategy.The recent expansion of aikido on a world-wide scale is nothing less than phenomenal. The total aikido population today exceeds one million, and the International Aikido Federation is growing stronger than ever.

The reason for this lies in aikido itself, which, I believe, ex-presses in both principle and practice the highest form of martial-aesthetic-spiritual art that traditional Japanese culture has produced.Aikido manifests the ultimate reality: the flowing spontaneous movements of nature within which is packed the unmatched power of ki Its goal is the formation of the ideal human self unifying body and mind, realized through vigorous mental and physical training, and the attainment of dynamic life in both activity and stillness. The spirituali­ty of its fundamental principle and the rationality of its execution are at the core of aikido's international renown.Accompanying the dramatic developments in science, technology and material civilization in modern times is the aggravation of the human spirit, which experiences restlessness, insecurity and loss of direction. I his is heightened by the threat of nuclear holocaust; mankind today stands on the brink of global disaster.In this age of radical dehumanization aikido has a special attraction. Especially appealing is the fact that each person, regardless of age, sex or athletic ability, can realize through practice the unification of the fundamental creative principle, ki, permeating the universe, and the Individual ki, manifested in breath-power.

This unification is the source of life energy, which not only fills the spiritual vacuum but provides daily living with real substance and meaning.The Japanese martial arts were inspired originally by the goal of vic-tory on the battlefield. But victory is short-lived; it passes quickly and disappears. One may exult in the battle that is won, but this is never the final fulfilling victory. Thus, a contradiction existed: dedicating one's life to training vigorously for a goal that was evanescent.This contradiction was resolved in the formation of budo (the Way of the martial arts), its foremost modern exponent being aikido. Aikido' teaches the way to realize absolute victory based on the philosophy of non-contention. Non-contention means to deflate the aggressive, com­bative, destructive instincts within a person and to channel them into the power of creative love. Such a philosophy carries that much more weight when taught by a martial art, but it is the essence of budo.Due to the rapid expansion of aikido throughout the world, we feel that the true meaning of this art has not always been properly conveyed and practiced. Although we welcome the internationalization of aikido, if it does not preserve the basic philosophy and ideals as formulated by the founder, Master Ueshiba Morihei, it would be indeed regret­table. For this reason we feel a strong sense of responsibility, and we are constantly working to improve the situation.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba

2013 © Sakhalin Aikido Federation