Aikido is essentially a martial art, which on one hand follows the tradition and spirit of the martial arts of old Japan, on the other hand it should not be pursued rigidly and uncritically.
The ancient martial arts are originated on the battlefield of fighting. Nevertheless, this helped to develope into an art form and culture that eventually in the Takugama – was written “Way of the Martial Arts” – period (1603 – 1886) as Budo.
The founder of Aikido – Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969) – lived in a turbulent period of the modernization of Japan. He came to believe that the true spirit of budo is not found in a rivalry atmosphere in which victory at any cost was the ultimate goal. He realized that the true spirit of budo lies in the perfection of man in both – spiritual and physical level. This can be achieved by a progressive training and practicing martial arts with like-minded people.
This can be understood as a philosophical correlate of the principle of “Ki”.”Ki” describes the inexhaustible force that permeates the universe and in the own body language in the energy of the breathing. Through incessant training of the mind and body, the individual Ki of each individual forms a harmony with the universal Ki. This is a major aspect of Japanese martial arts. In Aikido, this unity is manifested in the harmonious and dynamic movements. The Ki flows freely and is indestructible and invincible.
By these considerations it follows that Aikido refuses competitions. Because of this, the opinion of aikido is that by striving competitions, only egotism, selfishness and ruthlessness would be encouraged.
The goal is not to destroy the enemy with Aikido for some benefit, but to take the Ki of the opponent and redirect it. Aikido is therefore something of a “peaceful” martial art, however, reflecting the dynamics of observation and training of the students both physically and mentally offer many challenges.