The techniques of Aikido are not new. On the contrary, they are based on ancient samurai wisdom perfected on the battlefield. What distinguishes Aikido from other martial arts, however, is its unique philosophical component. Aikido's Founder Morihei Ueshiba, known as O' Sensei, dedicated his life to the study of Bujutsu and the practice of spiritual rituals to purify his mind. The combination of his intense physical and spiritual training ultimately gave birth to Aikido.
O' Sensei's dream as understood by Saotome Shihan was of creating peace in the world by training human aggression and thereby teaching people to be better human beings. Aikido's most important principle is the universal reality of life: .. to better people's lives, make their spirit blossom and become strong and by making better people a better world-Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, The Principles of Aikido.
The attitude of Aikido is to enter (irimi) into the attack with body mind and spirit and unbalance the attacker with spiral movements. This is accomplished through the interaction of active (yang) and passive (ying) forces put into practice with precise offensive and defensive moves designed to neutralize the attack.
At this precise moment Aikido gives the practitioner a choice: to destroy life or to save life. Without Martial Arts training, however, you will be a victim without choices. Please, do not misunderstand Aikido's severe martial applications. Aikido gives options to its practitioners but it emphasis is to stop the danger. To accomplish this one must acquire control, confidence, courage and an ability to trust.
Central to Aikido's philosophy is the concept of Shobu. Shobu means wisdom and wisdom comes from understanding, trusting, and seeing yourself clearly. Without this knowledge you will never be able to control others for your own protection or for the protection of those you love.
"Aikido has but ONE principle : The universal reality of life. In their own nature as living human beings all possess the basic secret of Aikido. The purpose of Aikido is to better people's lives, to make their spirit blossom and become strong and by making better people to make a better world"
Shihan Mitsugi Saotome Shihan