合気道 – Aikido

Aikido – “the way of harmonious spirit”

Aikido is a Japanese martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba.
The techniques of Aikido rely not on physical strength, but on the circular blending with the energy of the attacker.
Practitioners of Aikido gain a powerful system of self-defence inherently infused with a set of values and attitudes that seek to deal with conflict in a calm and peaceful manner.

Self-defence in Aikido includes defence against traditional weapons – bokken (wooden sword), tantou (knife) and jou (wooden staff). Those techniques can be used against a variety of close combat weapons, as their focus lies on disarming an attacker while making them unable to keep fighting.

Aikido does not only teach techniques. Other important aspects are posture, breathing, and attitude.
People with a good posture are less likely to get into fights because they radiate a sense of just not being an easy target.
Breathing is important as it can be used to calm oneself down in a stressful situation. Putting your breath into a technique also makes a technique or strike stronger, and helps the body to deal with impact.
Attitude, finally, is an important aspect because you radiate an aura according to your attitude. If you walk into a place with a positive attitude, it will be easier for you to learn and also deal with what is happening around you.

Most importantly, Aikido is an art of “not fighting” – while it includes self defence, the main goal is to train you to become a person that doesn’t get involved in fights.