Aikido began in the mind's eye of Morihei Ueshiba, an excellent martial artist who, as a young man studied several styles of Jujitsu, fencing, and spear fighting. Dissatisfied with his impressive physical skills, he searched for life's deeper meanings by delving into religious study. For years he continued to train, adding new techniques to the already classical forms of Jujitsu. For a long time he called his art "Aikibudo," but was still trying to combine his religious beliefs, life experience, and physical training into one defining art. After years of thinking about what he wanted to accomplish, he decided to tailor his martial art in a way that would help his students improve themselves spiritually as well as physically. In 1942, satisfied with his accomplishments, he decided to call his art "Aikido."
Today, people who visit this web site may be unclear as to what Aikido looks like. You may have seen pictures of people flipping upside down, or rolling on the ground, but still don't understand what kind of techniques are being performed. Above is a description of where the art came from, but it still doesn't give a prospective student a clear understanding of the things we practice. In the late eighties a martial artist named Steven Seagal began his film career, and popularized Aikido as millions saw him adorn the silver screen. He starred in such films as "Above The Law" and "Under Siege." Although the movies he makes are filled with all the Hollywood trimmings, many of the throws and wrist locks he does are common Aikido techniques. These days, online content from Youtube and other sources make it much easier to view Aikido techniques in motion and understand some parts of how to perform those techniques yourself. It's still a whole other level to actually learn and practice those techniques with a real partner. We always encourage people to come experience Aikido in person, as that is the only way to truly experience the art.