Toyoda on Aikido

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Aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art, was developed in the early part of this century by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), now known as O-Sensei ("venerable teacher").

A disciplined student of martial arts principles and philosophy, O-Sensei created Aikido out of his exhaustive study of armed and unarmed methods of defense. Unlike other martial arts, emphasis in Aikido is not directed towards street fighting or the advancement of students through competitive tournaments. Aikido techniques seek harmony in the neutralization and control rather than in the violent defeat of an attacker. Potentially destructive energy is redirected through the synthesis of body and mind into movement.

Aikido's style is generated from strategy, movement, and a variety of throwing, joint locking, pinning, and striking techniques that requires little physical strength to perform. Training stresses form, mutual cooperation, awareness of others and the coordination of the body's movement with a calm state of mind. Aside from its utility as a method of self-defense, Aikido also stresses the perfection of character and the development of positive human qualities such as compassion, courage, endurance and inner strength. In this spirit, Aikido training is undertaken to improve both the individual and society.

Tokyo, Japan is the site of the founding dojo (training hall) for the Aikido World Headquarters (Aikikai Hombu Dojo). Through Hombu Dojo, O-Sensei's son, Doshu K. Ueshiba, carries on the traditions and practice of Aikido internationally through several organizations.

Fumio Toyoda

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