Aikido (a Japanese Martial Art)
This martial art, developed by Morihei Ueshiba of Japan, is a synthesis of the founder’s martial arts studies, philosophy and religious beliefs. It is designed to be an art that can be used as self-defense that does not inflict injury upon the attacker.
The techniques of aikido can, when applied judiciously, divert or immobilize rather than damage or kill. Aikido emphasizes redirecting the attacker's energy, as opposed to meeting force with force.
Aikido consists primarily of body throws and joint-locking techniques. In addition to physical fitness and technique, mental training, controlled relaxation, and development of "spirit" (ki) are emphasized in aikido training.
Ueshiba developed aikido primarily during the late 1920s through the 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts that he had studied.
In aikido, as in virtually all the Japanese martial arts, there are both physical and mental aspects of training. The physical training in aikido is diverse, covering general physical fitness and conditioning, as well as specific techniques.
Because a substantial portion of any aikido curriculum consists of throws, the first thing most students learn is how to safely fall or roll. The specific techniques for attack include both strikes and grabs; the techniques for defense consist of throws and pins. After basic techniques are learned, students study freestyle defense against multiple opponents, and in certain styles, techniques with weapons.
Aikido incorporates elements of judo and jujitsu, among other Japanese martial arts. It is classified as a grappling style of martial arts. It is not an Olympic sport.