Aikido is the study of a Japanese system of self-defense for the purpose of developing flexibility and strength of mind and body, and wholesomeness of spirit. The techniques upon which aikido is based were drawn from a combative system referred to as aiki-jujutsu. These techniques were selected and adapted so that they could be safely used in cooperative practice, yet remain effective for self-defense.
The student of aikido learns to blend with his or her partner’s attack, and, applying a joint lock, throw or control the partner to stop the attack. While practicing in the role of attacker, the student learns to safely escape from the partner’s throwing technique. Regular practice of these techniques improves the student’s strength, flexibility, endurance and alertness. By observing the etiquette that is integral to aikido, the student learns to live harmoniously in the community.