What is Aikido?


Kumano Hayatama Taisha temple
Kumano Hayatama Taisha, 2009

Ai: unity, harmony, love
Ki: energy, flowing breathe of life
Do: way, path

“Aikido is the Path of Harmony between Humankind and the Universe”

Morihei Ueshiba, 1883–1969, founder of Aikido.

Why are conflicts so numerous in the world?

Because the human spirit is inhabited by vanity, lust, and greed. There is also fear, doubt, and guilt. These characteristics belong to the ancestral and animal nature of human beings: characteristics of predators and victims. As long as people’s thoughts and actions are imprinted by these characteristics, conflicts will continue. History shows that no law or political regime has been able to find a solution to establish peace, harmony, and love.

Aikido is a path that proposes a possible change. It is the way that allows one to leave ancestral impulses and elevate oneself toward real humanity. It is the deep purification that allows one to smile at life. It helps to manage the hardest difficulties in one’s life with strength and serenity. And it lets peace, love, and light shine in oneself and all around.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art. It cultivates harmony (Ai) and allows the practitioner to establish a rich and harmonious relationship between oneself and one’s environment. It is the path that promotes a free and fluid flow of vital energy (Ki). It contributes to the free expression of all manifestations of life. The Ki’s flow strengthens a body’s good health, awakens the spirit, and opens the heart. Aikido allows finding one’s balance. It stimulates fluidity, awakens the senses, and promotes creativity.

This art permits one to live life fully, in a responsible and enlightened manner. The Aikido practitioner learns how to freely let the life energy flow into oneself, without tension or resistance. He or she blossoms like flowers in spring.

This is Takemusu Aikido.

Kumano Nachi Taisha temple
Kumano Nachi Taisha, 2009

Aikido is always relevant, regardless of the period, culture or place. It concerns humanity in relation to the cycle of great nature. This art appeared to O Sensei after numerous years of assiduous practice and retreats.

Aikido, the path of victory over oneself — Testimonials of members of the Geneva Aikido Takemusu Dojo

Aikido is transmitted by the I Shin den Shin (from heart to heart) relationship between an instructor and his or her student. Thanks to this, the Founder’s teaching has always been transmitted faithfully.

This martial art is for all people, large, small, male, female, strong, fragile, old, young, healthy, sick, or disabled. Aikido is a strong and engaged practice. It is a path that one can follow all lifelong (Do).

Aikido is a wonderful way that humanizes and fulfills the one who practices it.

Jean-Pierre Kunzi Sensei showing an Aikido technique

“In true Budo
We seek to become one with all things
And return to the heart of creation
The purpose of Aikido training
Is not simply to make us
Stronger or tougher than others.
It must turn us into warriors of peace.
This is our mission in Aikido.”

Morihei Ueshiba, 1883-1969, founder of Aikido.