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33155 Camino Capistrano
            San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 525-6260


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What Is Aikido

Text Box:  AI - to join, be in harmony with
KI - spirit, energy,
DO - way of life, spiritual path


AIKIDO - to be in harmony with the energies around us.

Aikido is a martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba in the early 1900s, after a study of several other martial arts, including spear (yari), sword (ken) staff (bo and jo) and unarmed (jiu-jitsu) schools of combat.  Although he became very strong and won many matches, he was troubled with the idea that winning at someone else's expense was not really winning and came to realize that true self defense is not winning over others,. . . but winning over the discord within yourself.


Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei

Though Ueshiba was an acknowledged master, he began to practice movements, exploring them deeply, searching mentally, and sitting for long hours in meditation.  As a result, Aikido was born as a way to divert harm to one's self while not necessarily inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor.  As Aikido developed, it became clear that it was not only an effective means of self defense, but also a way to learn and truly understand conflict resolution.

Aikido training has many aspects... a means of self-defense, physical fitness, Zen training, learning a non- confrontational approach to life.  To relate Aikido to more well-known martial arts, Aikido can be compared to grappling/wrestling rather than to striking/boxing.  As it does not stress striking, there is no conflict between Aikido and boxing styles such as Karate and Tae Kwan Do.

Aikido training also includes the use of bokken (wood practice sword), jo (staff), and tanto (knife).

Philosophy of Aikido

The most interesting aspect of Aikido is that although it is primarily a self-defense art, it takes as the basis of its philosophy the idea of being in harmony with your opponent rather than being in conflict.  The ideal of Aikido is not to think of defeating your enemy, but rather, to be in harmony with him/her, spiritually and physically.

Aikido is not merely an art of self-defense, however; into its techniques are woven elements of philosophy, psychology, and dynamics.  Through the physical practice of the self-defense techniques, the student of Aikido comes to appreciate and understand the mental and spiritual aspects of Aikido.