Aikido is a martial art and spiritual discipline where conflict is resolved harmoniously through the redirection of the attacker’s energy. Ai (“harmony”), Ki (“universal energy/life force”), Do (“way”) is purely defensive in nature - you cannot attack anyone using Aikido. Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (1883- 1969), also known as O-Sensei (Venerable Teacher). O-Sensei was a master of several other martial arts, including jujutsu, kenjutsu (sword) and judo. O-Sensei is widely regarded as the greatest martial artist that ever lived.
In Aikido, control of an attacker is achieved by maintaining one’s own center and posture, while causing the attacker to become unbalanced. The attacker is then pinned using various joint locks, or is thrown. There are an infinite variety of responses to any attack. Aikido training also includes defense against multiple attackers and weapons, including knife, staff and sword. There are no competitions in Aikido; one achieves higher rank by demonstrating increased understanding and competence as part of a promotion exam.