Developed fewer than 100 years ago by Morihei Ueshiba (the “O-Sensei,” or “great teacher”), aikido is a dynamic, noncompetitive, unarmed martial art that has been growing in popularity since its creation. The techniques used in this art are derived from traditional Japanese disciplines such as the use of swords, spears, and short staffs. The unarmed jiu-jitsu styles of Yagyu-Ruy, Daito-Ryu Jujutsu, and other jiu-jitsu ryu are also major influences. Aikido, which can be roughly translated as “the way of harmonizing spirit/energy,” is practiced by people around the world; police, security, and military organizations even use aikido control tactics. The priority is to harness the energy of the attacker and redirect that energy so the attacker can be subdued with minimal effort and damage.
Focused, circular motions, throws, atemi (strikes), and joint locking techniques are common. Aikido has a focus on taijutsu (throwing, holding, and joint-locking techniques) and weapons using the bokken, (wood practice sword) , jo (short staff), and tanto (knife). Weapon techniques are learned in tandem with taijutsu.
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