Welcome to St. Louis Aikikai
What is Aikido?
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed in the twentieth century by "The Founder", Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969).
The Founder mastered many traditional Japanese warrior arts, but was troubled by the disconnect between his spiritual training and the destructive potential of his martial skills.
In response he developed Aikido, "The Way of Harmony", with the purpose of resolving conflict without violence. Within its teaching is the potential to neutralize aggression without inflicting injury. The core techniques of Aikido were derived by The Founder from many traditional Japanese martial arts, including those of the sword and spear.
It includes sophisticated methods of throwing and pinning, specifically designed to extend existing natural movements of the body. This focus on natural movements means that it is possible for the person receiving a technique to learn to do so without injury, even at full speed and power.
Because the techniques of Aikido are drawn from weapons practice, the same techniques can neutralize armed or unarmed attackers.
"You Fight, you Lose!"
We use wooden training weapons to learn the principles of armed combat and to apply them to our empty handed practice. In fact, we generally assume that an attacker is stronger, more heavily armed, or not acting alone! In this situation, resistance is self-defeating, and fighting may get you killed...
Instead we learn to blend with an attacker's violent energy - redirecting or neutralizing it - leading to a comprehensive system of projections and immobilizations.
The key is to achieve victory without fighting!
"True Victory is Victory over Oneself"
Aikido is based on the subtle principle of non-resistance, which directly stems from its roots in Japanese swordsmanship. The objective of training is not competition with others, but rather the constant refinement of yourself - physically, mentally, spiritually - the objective is to achieve "Self Victory".
Everyday practice is health promoting: conditioning your limbs and strengthening your core. Your body will become limber and relaxed, your mind clear and focused.