Aikido is a non-violent Japanese art of self-defense that allows us to confront conflict and agression with a spirit of "loving protection," thus avoiding harm not only to ourselves but also to those who attack us. The Japanese characters AI-KI-DO can be translated as "the path of spiritual harmony."

Kisshomaru Ueshiba, 2nd Doshu, executing iriminage Unlike other martial arts, Aikido does not use punches or kicks, nor does it rely on physical strength. We do not block an attack, but rather flow with it in a centered and circular movement, leading it to its natural conclusion. Sometimes the agressor is sent flying through the air by the energy of his/her own attack, other times he/she ends up pinned to the ground, unable to move.

Aikido training is based on cooperation and mutual support, thus there are no competitions or tournaments. We seek to cultivate an atmosphere of caring and respect, both among the practitioners and with the world around us.

Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, Aikido Founder, executing iriminage Aconstant practice of Aikido leads us to discover and integrate ourselves more and more as complete human beings, physically, mentally and spiritually. It uncovers and nurtures our innate qualities--vitality, sharpness of attention, firmness of character and great self-confidence--as well as teaching us to relate to our fellow human beings on the basis of respect, trust and unconditional support.

People begin their practice of Aikido for different reasons: self-defense, physical fitness or because they are fascinated by its philosophy. These are all good reasons to start. Often, however, we find that we continue to practice because of Aikido's "magic" and because it's fun!

Copyright, Aikido Tentokai Xalapa. Member Dojo of Sansuikai International.