Aikido is a Japanese martial art currently practiced throughout the world.

Behind the powerful catapulting throws and immobilizing locks and pins of Aikido
lie some very simple principles: remove yourself from the direct line of your
enemy's attack, and through the absorption and deflection of the force of the
attack, your enemy is taken out of balance and defeated by the energy of his or
her own aggression. Aikido does not use strength against strength, but stresses
body and mind relaxation to direct the opponent's force away. Because its main
purpose is not to take the offensive in injuring or harming the opponent, Aikido
has often been called a "nonviolent" martial art. In daily practice,
the student of Aikido seeks to achieve the firmness, stability, sobriety and
elegance which make Aikido on e of the most powerful and beautiful ways of
artistic expression, while conserving its potential as one of the most
devastating offers of self-defense. Aikido may be practiced by all people
regardless of age, sex, religion, or previous athletic ability. Systematic

Aikido practice leads to increased aerobic capacity and to overall body
conditioning through both flexibility and strength training. General Philosophy
of Aikido Aikido makes extensive use of the concept of ki. Aikido is one of the
more spiritual martial arts and has been referred to as ?moving Zen'. The
name Aikido can be translated as ?the way of harmony of ki'. Exactly what ki
?is' is a somewhat controversial issue. Some believe that the physical
entity ki simply does not exist. Instead, the spirit, the intention, the bio-physico-psychological
coordination through relaxation and awareness are concepts being used in the
teaching. One must first learn to control oneself before attempting to harmonize
and control others. Without a good balance and control of oneself, one can
neither avoid an attack nor apply an effective technique on others. It is
through self-control that one can learn to enjoy a harmonious way of life.
"Ai"- come together or to harmonize "ki"- the spirit of the
universe' "Do"- the way Ki Ki is the force behind all things.

Everything in the universe has Ki. Ki is the essence of our world. It is the
basis of all matter, every phenomenon, emotion, sense, direction, will,
consciousness and conscience. Ki is also an energy which can be very useful in
our daily lives when used properly. Ki is our life force which keeps us alive.

Ki is the binding force of our mind and body. We can be very efficient if we
unify our mind and body. However, it is rather difficult to maintain the oneness
of mind and body throughout our daily lives without something to bind them
together. As electricity keeps the computer and the robot working together, Ki
keeps the mind and the body working in oneness. Oneness In order to harmonize
with the laws of nature, we must first learn to develop and maintain the right
attitude of training. We must always keep the attitude of becoming one with
every situation. This is an attitude of respect for all things at all times.

Regardless of the situation, friend or foe, one must always be ready to
harmonize. The right attitude greatly affects the efficiency of the action. It
is not how strong, but rather how correct you are that counts. This concept of
oneness will make it possible for anyone regardless of age or sex to perform the
arts efficiently. 4 Keys to Body and Mind Unity 1. Calmly let your mind settle
at an imaginary point about two inches below the navel. 2. Relax your enire body
to the point where you are able to maintain complete control of yourself by
keeping calmness of mind and body between tenseness and limpness. 3. Naturally
allow the gravitational pull to settle your entire body down to where it should
settle. 4. To think positively and be ready for action with a calm and flexible
mind without referring to excessive physical strength. A positive attitude
toward life.