What is Aikido? Aikido as a "martial art", finds its historical roots in the true context of the training arts, ethics and values of the Samurai (noble class of Japanese Warriors). If you are unfamiliar with Aikido you may think it is like Kung Fu, Judo, or Karate. While Aikido is essentially a Martial (fighting) Art, its movements and techniques are generally based on non-resistance, and harmonising with the opponent's attack. This emphasis on harmonising is the essence of Aikido. Aikido is an art of self-defence, but does not aim to use violence to defeat violence, but aims more to manage it with technical skill. Woven into Aikido’s techniques are elements of philosophy, psychology, and physics. By practising Aikido we can improve our mind and our body. Aikido adheres to the highest moral (and ethical) standards. It promotes the protection of life, the creation of harmony, the preservation of order, and the development of a strong society. Do not be fooled, however, as even the most basic Aikido techniques can be devastatingly powerful and effective. Because of this the training methods and environment have been structured to provide a high regard for safety, and care of your training partner is considered of paramount importance. The type of movements used in Aikido can have a variety of benefits to the individual, both physical and mental. Aikido’s sphericity of movement and smooth extension of power can develop a high degree of coordination, physical fitness, and suppleness, just to name a few. Whether your goal in studying Aikido is for self-defence or simply an improvement in physical or mental health, it will be an enjoyable experience.