Aikido was founded and developed by (1883-1969) in the early part of the 20th century. Aikido is a non-violent, non-aggressive, non-competitive Japanese martial art that promotes a spirit of harmonious cooperation, personal development, and character refinement. It is an art that does not seek to meet violence with violence, but yet strives to maintains its martial origins. The principles, techniques and movements of Aikido involve remaining relaxed, focused and centered. It is based on spherical movements by which an attackers aggressive force is turned against itself. Unlike most other martial arts, physical strength, size, and age have a relatively small impact on one's ability to effectively practice since Aikido relies on the redirection of your opponent's momentum rather than the strength or impact of a punch or kick. There is no competition, matches or competitive sparring in Aikido practice, but it can still be physically and mentally challenging. Aikido training consists primarily of partner practice, with each partner alternating the roles of "attacker" and "defender". We learn to train in ways that maintain safety and avoid injury, but that challenges each other and promotes growth. In addition, Aikido includes training with a wooden sword (bokken) and staff (jo) to assist in the understanding of techniques and their development. Individual progress can be made no matter your level of physical ability. Aikido is not about conquering an opponent, but more about conquering our own limitations, fears and weaknesses.
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