Aikido, the way of harmony & spirit, comes from Japan and is part of an 800 year old tradition. People of all ages train in Aikido in Japan and around the world (even in Australia).
Until the late 1800’s, Japan was ruled by the Samurai warriors. At the time, people lived by strict rules of behaviour and the Samurai kept their swords with them wherever they went. The Samurai were experts in the arts of swordsmanship, horse riding, archery, spear and many other warrior arts. The Samurai also practised a form of spirituality called Zen, which focuses on learning through observing & feeling the inner & outer worlds. At this time Japan was yet to modernise like other countries of the day, such as England, France and America.
In 1868 Japan started on the road to becoming a modern nation. The Samurai no longer ruled, and the carrying of swords became illegal. Learning the warrior arts was overlooked in favour of modern studies in science, mathematics, economics, medicine, politics & law.
During this period, many ancient arts died out completely. But in order to preserve the arts for future generations, a number of modern arts were developed.
Based on his expertise in the arts of Jiu-jitsu (empty handed combat), Kenjitsu (swordsmanship) and Yari-jitsu (spear combat) a man named Morihei Ueshiba created the art of Aikido. Different from other martial arts, Aikido techniques are non-violent and ideal for use in defending oneself.