Aikido is a Japanese martial art that focuses on working in harmony to resolve conflict. The name Aikido means: The Way to Harmonize Energy. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba (referred to as "O'Sensei"), developed the art based on his vast experience in and knowledge of other martial arts, including aiki-jutsu, sword and staff arts. O'Sensei's unique realization was that the study of a martial art can be a path to peace.
Aikido teaches students how to harmonize their energy. While practicing how to blend with an opponent's force, or discovering how to extend energy, or developing the flexibility to work well with a partner, an Aikido student is always learning how to restore harmony both internally and externally.
Aikido can be viewed and practiced as a self-defense art, a conflict resolution art, a method for stress reduction, a way to achieve a healthy and peaceful lifestyle or a path to spritual growth.
Students of all levels of experience train together during a class. Beginning students work with more advanced students to learn basic movements. Most students find that training 3 times a week helps develop their ability to master the techniques and feel secure in the form. Classes begin with a short warm-up. The instructor then focuses on teaching one or more techniques, helping students individually as necessary. Students are always welcome to stay after class and train.
Aikido not only imparts the physical benefits of increased strength and flexibility, but also leads to a greater feeling of self-confidence. The practical self-defense side of the art is balanced with the spiritual development that results from harmonizing one's energy with others.