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Developed in the 1900's by Morihei Ueshiba, who was Sokaku Takedas top daito ryu aikijujutsu student, Aikido is a culmination of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. It is truly the result of a lifetime of martial study. The name Aikido is often translated as 'the Way of unifying (with) life energy' or as 'the Way of harmonious spirit.' Ueshiba's goal in Aikido was to create an effective art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido harnesses the speed and power of an opponent's attack to be used against them. It is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it. Done properly, Aikido requires very little physical strength, as the power and brutality is truely from the attack. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido can be categorized under the general umbrella of grappling arts. Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the O'moto-kyu religion. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him.
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