Aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art, was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) in the first half of the 20th century. The Aikido technical repertoire, derived in large part from Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, largely uses joint locks, pins, and throws in response to an attack. While Aikido includes the use of strikes, or atemi, the art doesn’t focus principally on striking an opponent using punches or kicks. The major goal of most Aikido techniques is controlling an opponent by taking his or her balance, followed by either immobilization or a throw.
Aikido is a unique martial art, in that it isn’t solely a system of combat. It’s also a means of self-cultivation and self-improvement. As a rule, Aikido doesn’t have tournaments, competitions, or contests. All Aikido techniques are taught in a cooperative environment at a pace commensurate with the abilities of individual students. This doesn’t reflect negatively on the potential of Aikido techniques for self-defense. Rather, the prohibition of competition and the use of cooperative training methods allows students to practice potentially dangerous techniques with significantly reduced risk of injury.
To learn more about Aikido, the Aikido FAQ is a comprehensive reference, developed over several decades.
[Some of the content on this page is adopted/derived from “Aikido Primer” by Eric Sotnak.]