Aikido (‘eye-KEY-doe’) is a Japanese martial art that promotes fitness, flexibility, resilience and well-being.
Aikido techniques blend with the movement of an attacker, in order to take away their balance and then throw or pin them to the ground. The art relies on timing, sensitivity, posture, and especially co-ordinated movement, to control an attacker without relying on brute force.
Aikido is part of the Japanese tradition of budō, or ‘martial ways’. The purpose of budō is personal development, promoting calm, focus, discipline and compassion.
Training involves partner practice where each partner adapts to the level of the other. This allows new and experienced, young and old, weak and strong to train together for mutual benefit. Because of this, Aikido practice can be slow and gentle or extremely intense and powerful, depending on the level of the partners involved.