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Aikido was founded by Japanese Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) after many years of training in other martial arts. Ueshiba had taken part in the Russian-Japanese war and had been witness to much death and destruction during the second World War. Deeply shaken over man's will and ability to solve conflicts in a violent and destructive manner the deeply religious master of the martial arts wanted to transform the art of war into an ”art of peace”.

The thought that a true master of martial arts always have a choice to take, or to give, life to an opponent was not a new one The ability to stop a conflict in the rising had always been considered an act of mastery. The unique part of Ueshiba's thinking was that the techniques and movements of the art should radiate and symbolise peaceful intentions.

Efterhånden som Ueshiba tilegnede sig flere og flere færdigheder i stridskunst, erkendte han, at meningen med sand kampkunst ikke kunne være at slå modstanderen med brutal kraft, men derimod at opnå total kontrol med sig selv, og således gøre sig fri af en eventuel strid med en angriber. Ud fra denne erkendelse udviklede han en helt ny og defensiv kampkunst, som skønt trænet i mange år, først officielt fik navnet Aikido i 1941.

During his progress in the martial arts Morihei Ueshiba realised that the meaning of true martial arts is not to beat down an opponent with brute force. But more it is to achieve absolute control of one self and by doing this, liberate one self from conflicts with a would be attacker. Recognising this he developed a brand new defensive martial art. This art was in 1941 to be known, after many years of practice, as Aikido.

Aikido is based on a long line of locks and throwing techniques. The movements are circular and is build on some of the same principles as Japanese sword fighting. This makes training with weapons, Bokken (wooden sword) and Jo (wooden staff) a part of Aikido training. The fundamental defensive attitude and the absence of any competition is the biggest difference between Aikido and most other forms of Budo.

Aikido is about peace, harmony and balance which for most outsiders might be considered a paradox. How can a martial art be in harmony with a peaceful principle? When practising Aikido you will earn physical and technical abilities plus some mental qualities that makes fighting unnecessary to solve a conflict.

In solving a conflict it is always important to understand what the conflict is about. Then you can create a strategy that enables the conflict to be solved without anyone loosing face. Then Aikido is no longer just physical, but very much mental as well. It is about controlling one self. There is no point in forcing the opponent to loose, because the one who wins today is destined to loose another day.

In Aikido, timing is more important that speed and power. Instead of letting power fight power you learn in Aikido how a small amount of power can control a large amount. This done so in harmony with some of the simple and fundamental laws of nature itself. Defying the laws of nature is not possible. And maybe because of this little thing, Aikido is not something you learn from one day to another. It is an exciting challenge that will teach you a lot about yourself and other people.

When Aikido is practised by experienced people it looks real elegant. Often it looks more like a powerful and dynamic dance rather that martial arts. In Aikido you do not try to force the opponent to do anything he or she does not want to. You let the opponent take the direction of his or her choice, and then guiding your opponent, they will fall where it is most natural to do so.

Aikido can be translated to “The way to harmonic strength” or “The way of harmonic power”. Aikido is put together by three Japanese words. AI (harmony, friendship and love), KI (mind, will and energy) and DO (the way – which unite body and power). Aikido is the way (DO) to train body and mind. And in this way learning effective self defence techniques.

“Aikido is the spirit of loving protection of all life.” - O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba