Aikido, or The Way of Harmony, is a relatively new Japanese Martial Art. The founder, Morihei Ueshiba, used his mastery of Aikijujutsu and weaponry and modified these to create a unique martial art that has, at its foundation, the belief in the harmonious resolution of conflict.
Aikido is defined by the principle of blending with and redirecting an attack rather than directly confronting or blocking with a use of force against force, and relies primarily on timing, balance and technique rather than strength or size. The Aikidoka blends with and redirects the attacker, positions to advantage and breaks the attackers balance . Once the balance is broken and the attack neutralized, a wide range of joint locks and pins or throws may be used to control the situation. By its movement, Aikido is particularly well suited as a defense against multiple attackers, which is practiced at advanced levels. There are no attacks in Aikido, only defenses against attacks. There is no competition in Aikido. Rather, training partners each take turns as attacker (uke, who recieves the technique) and defender (nage, who gives the technique) for the technical improvement, general betterment and personal growth of both.
Aikidoka train for many reasons. Some are focused on the obvious martial self defense application, while others may be more interested in flexibility, mobility, physical conditioning or even a sense of inner peace (Aikido has been described as moving zen). Regardless of your motivation we would invite you to give it a try and perhaps meet other like minded people!