Aikido is a Japanese martial art created during the 1920s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) [pictured] after having reached the highest level of mastery in other classical Japanese martial arts. A simple translation is not possible but aikido can be interpreted to mean the way (do) of harmony (ai) with vital energy (ki). Aikido is accomplished by blending with the movement of the attacker to redirect the force of an attack rather than oppose it head-on. Aikido does not rely on weapons but wooden weapons are sometimes used in training (sword, staff, and knife).
Aikido does not have competition: training is by repeated practice where the ultimate aim is not to perfect physical techniques but to improve character. Aikido training helps promote physical and mental health, and over time can improve awareness, self-confidence and other skills useful in everyday life. Aikido training is also an opportunity to meet and learn from people regardless of age, gender, occupation, or wider background.
British Aikido Federation
Greenwich Aikido Dojo was established in 2004 and is affiliated to the British Aikido Federation (BAF). The BAF was established in 1968 (originally as the ‘Aikikai of Great Britain’) and was the first organisation in Britain accredited by the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan to teach aikido. The organisation was renamed the ‘British Aikido Federation’ in 1977 with Minoru Kanetsuka (Shihan 8th Dan, Aikikai Foundation) as its Technical Director [pictured]. Other Japanese and British shihan (master teacher) also instruct at frequent BAF weekend courses and at the annual BAF Summer School.
The BAF is officially recognised by the Aikikai Foundation at the Aikido World Headquarters in Japan and is a founder member of both the International Aikido Federation (IAF) and the Joint Aikido Council (JAC). The Aikikai Foundation is the primary organisation for the development and promotion of aikido throughout the world, and the current Doshu (head) of the Aikikai Foundation is Moriteru Ueshiba (grandson of Osensei Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido).