Practicing the movements requires developing ones own stability as well as developing the sensitivity for the balance of the UKE. In Aikido physical force is not required as such. The disciplined practicing in the dojo is a real training in attitude and respect.
The search for the necessary attention at the right moment, as well as clarity of movement and thought makes this martial art into a single discipline. Many beginners may initially see in Aikido a method of self-defense, however very quickly, they will notice that Aikido is very much more than a range of techniques, which aim to fend off a possible attack. Aikido also leads practioners of the art towards a better understanding of themselves and others, as well as an appreciation of the human characteristic.
Aikido is not competitive. It is a discipline, the art of survival. Aikido is open to all people. Age, weight, strength and size have no importance
Aikido was developed in the first half of the 20th century in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) a master of various traditional Japanese martial arts. It is a creative synthesis of various japanese budo arts combined with a specific philosophical perspective. Morihei Ueshiba who is referred to as O'Sensei initiated a reform of the martial arts, where the goal is not the destruction of the opponent but the steering, guiding and the neutralization of the aggressive attacking energy.
In Aikido are no tournaments or competition, the only competition is with oneself.
The goal of Aikido is to be incorporated into the attacking power of the partner, to redirect and to profitably use it. This peaceful and non-violent form of self-defense expresses itself in the movements and the techniques
The actual practice starts with the UKE (attacker) initiating an attack. By skillful evasive manouvers the TORI(the attacked) moves to an advantaegous position before the energy of the attacker can overpower him.
The forces of Uke and Tori do not work against each other, but with one another, the evasive movements used by the Tori make use of the centrifugal and centripetal forces that cause the attacker to lose his balance. Aikido is aiming for an optimum balance between body and spirit. Harmony and balance are characteristic for the techniques of Aikido.