Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 14 December 1883–26 April 1969), referred to by some aikido practitioners as Ōsensei ("Great Teacher"). Ueshiba envisioned aikido not only as the synthesis of his martial training, but also an expression of his personal philosophy of universal peace and reconciliation. During Ueshiba's lifetime and continuing today, aikido has evolved from the Aiki that Ueshiba studied into a wide variety of expressions by martial artists throughout the world.

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a responsive martial art in which the practitioner, called an Aikidoka, uses off-balances and an attacker's own strength and momentum to gain control instead of attempting specific techniques to prevail. 

Aikido Principles

Keep weight underside
When students keep weight underside, they release all tension and rigidity. They are relaxed, with a low center of gravity. A stiff upper body results in a lack of balance and breathing that is "caught." Weight underside results in a stable posture and increased responsiveness on the mat.

Relax completely
Just as a bow kept strung loses its usefulness, so humans cannot stand continuous tension. It is essential to be able to relax both body and spirit, as needs demand, in any place at all. Many people feel that it is impossible to relax when something big is happening. This notion arises from the illusion that when one is relaxed he is weak. The fact is, if you relax properly you are very strong.

Keep one point
When we perform Aikido techniques, we always maintain the single spot in the lower abdomen, focusing our mind on a single point and maintaining a strong center of gravity. It is not necessary to tense any part of your body to "keep one point" - relaxing will result in a more stable posture with no mental distractions.

Extend Ki
Ki is energy, spirit. Our Ki is in conflux with the Ki of the universal. If we pour forth as much Ki as possible we can improve this interchange. We can pour forth all the Ki we like because the supply is inexhaustible. Once we have made our Ki positive we should not be satisfied to stop. Whether we make something brilliant of our lives or not depends on whether we select the positive or negative way. Aikido training helps us create and extend positive Ki.

Morihei Ueshiba Quotes
 

*A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.*All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together.

*As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.

*Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit - love.

*If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth.*It is necessary to develop a strategy that utilizes all the physical conditions and elements that are directly at hand. The best strategy relies upon an unlimited set of responses.

*Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love. 

*One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

*Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there. Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.

*Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.
 

*Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - should be your teacher. 

*There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within. *To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury in the Art of Peace.

*When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.

*When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.