Aikido is a martial art created in Japan in the early 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) also known as O Sensei 'great teacher’. The main curriculum of Aikido is empty-hand techniques but it also include the practice of traditional Japanese weapons such as tanto (wooden knife), bokken (wooden sword) and jo (wooden spear). O Sensei developed aikido through an intense and committed lifelong study of ancient warrior traditions. Like other Japanese martial traditions, O Sensei's aikido was a type of Budo (martial way) meant for the polishing of the mind and body. "The purpose of training," said O Sensei, "is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit."
The word Aikido is formed of three Japanese characters, 合気道, ai, ki and do, meaning literally harmony, energy and way, so Aikido can be translated as “the path to harmonious energies”. Although in proficient hands Aikido can be a very effective self-defense art it is first emphasizes to meet and harmonize with opposing forces instead of combating them. It is a way of uniting body and mind through non-resistance. Aikido’s techniques aim to control an attack by blending and redirecting its energy instead of blocking it.