What is Aikido?

What is Aikido?

Morihei Ueshiba - What is Aikido?

I’m not teaching you how to move your feet; I’m teaching you how to move your mind.

Morihei Ueshiba ( 1883 – 1969 )

Combining his mastery of the Budō arts with a pursuit of spiritual knowledge Morihei Ueshiba described having had a spiritual awakening in his early forties.  The experience was significantly profound to have altered his perception of the traditional martial arts and as a consequence, he began to interpret his Budō as a means of self-actualisation.

At first, Aikido can seem to be a complex assortment of technical movements, however when practised as the founder originally intended the visual form contains many universal accepted truths, e.g. harmonious interaction, non-duality or ‘ AiKi ‘ – translated as a harmonious joining of energy.

To truly gain insight into the art and Morihei Ueshiba legacy, invariably requires a commitment to collaborative, generous and meaningful practice; whereby the practiced ‘form’ emerges instinctively, spontaneously and is thereby ultimately fulfilling.

In essence, Aikido is a means to study the “self” through the discipline of the Budō.  In many ways similar to Yoga, Zazen (seated meditation) and other spiritual traditions.  It is without question a lifetime pursuit for a dedicated student.


To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between one’s self and others.

Zen Master Dōgen ( 1200 – 1253 )