Aikido is a Japanese Budo developed around the middle of this century by O-sensei based on his many years and training in the classical and defined by his ethical and philosophical beliefs.
Aikido is an art based on the fundamental concepts of harmony or blending,
inner power, and the purpose of developing the practitioner. In fact, the
very name of the art is made of these components:
There are many possible translations,interpretations for the meaning of the name. Probably the most common translation is "The Way of Harmony with Spirit". In an early book, it was translated as "The Way of Chivalrous Spiritual Harmony". Some favorite translations are:
One of the nice things about such ambiguity and freedom of interpretation is that you can pick a meaning that appeals to your sense of aesthetics.
Just as there are a number of different interpretations of the name of the art, there are also a number of different styles of practice, depending on the particular inclination and background of the teachers. Many senior students of O-sensei have developed their own schools and ways of teaching that emphasize their understanding of the essential meaning of O-sensei's teaching.
Almost all forms of Aikido develop the mind/body feeling that we label as Ki but, generally, this training is implicit with the belief being that the arts of Aikido are, in and of themselves, a sufficient set of tools for this purpose. We believe that extracting the fundamental principles and practicing them separately from the technical arts of Aikido, is advantageous and beneficial both to the development of the student within Aikido and also for application to other aspects of daily living.
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