Techniques practiced in Aikido arise from swordsmanship. Aiki is the highest teaching of sword and refers to a method of escaping unharmed without cutting your partner. In Aikido, as in swordsmanship, any attempt to control an opponent through physical strength makes you vulnerable. To succeed, your body and mind must be alert and free from tension. Only this way can you control a situation and defend yourself without injuring your attacker.
In aikido, an attack is never stopped but rather redirected so that the oncoming force is used against the opponent. Aikido is the art of becoming of one mind and body with the opponent. This requires being firmly centered and truly aware of one’s own existence. Through practice, aikido enables the student to align mind and body with the will. This leads to both wisdom and control – the ability to transform difficulties and aggression into joy and self-improvement.
In addition to increased fitness through physical exercise, aikido clears the mind and offers enhanced states of being and a greater ability to focus. Practioners can expect to improve in the following areas: breathing, posture, confidence and poise, coordination and relationships (with self and others).