Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art developed by ‘O Sensei’ Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969), who had reached the highest level of mastery in the classical Japanese martial arts.
Aikido aims to blend with the movement and force of an attacker. The energy of the attack is redirected instead of trying to oppose or withstand it. There is no competition in Aikido, no weight classes or gender division. At the core of the practice lies mutual respect.
Have a look at Moriteru Ueshiba, grandson of Morihei Ueshiba and current Doshu for a short demonstration of Aikido at the 2015 Kagamibiraki at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo:
(Video with kind permission by Guillaume Erard)
Aikido is also an excellent opportunity to apply Alexander Technique principles to one’s reaction to being in a self-defense situation, moving with a partner, moving a partner without using undue force and tension, playing with balance, learning how to roll and fall and much more.