What is Aikido?
Aikido (合気道) is a traditional Japanese Martial Art, which developed in the earlier part of the 20th century. Aikido makes use of various holds, locks, throws and body movements to to exploit to ones own advantage, an aggressors strength and weight. Despite being a relatively new innovation, Aikido's origins lie in the unarmed combat systems used by the Samurai and date back to the 11th Century.
Aikido techniques are characterised by flowing movements, which allow the defender to move safely off the line of attack, blend with an attack and redirect its force to incapacitate and subdue the attacker; often finishing with a throw, lock or pin.
Defences against a great many forms of attack are taught, as is a study of both sword (Ken-jutsu) and stick arts (Jo-jutsu) from which many of the unarmed techniques were originally derived.