Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (known as O Sensei, pictured right) in Japan between about 1920 and 1940. The name “Aikido”, meaning “way of harmony with inner energy” was given to the art by him in 1942.
Aikido is a weaponless system designed soley for self-defence. It is essentially non-violent and, as conceived by its creator, non-competitive. Force is never opposed by force. By means of circular movement an attacker’s force is diverted and turned back upon him. A variety of techniques may be applied to the attacker’s arm joints; but although these can be extremely painful and induce immediate submission, they are not aimed at causing injury. Thus it is perhaps the most subtle and graceful of the various martial arts. Since Aikido techniques do not call for physical strength or aggressive spirit, it is practised by people off all ages or physical make-up, by women just as well as by men.
British Aikido Federation
The first organisation with accreditation from the World Aikido Headquarters in Japan to teach Aikido in Britain was the Aikikai of Great Britain. It was founded in 1968 under the auspices of the Aikikai Foundation, and in 1977 was renamed the British Aikido Federation, with Minoru Kanetsuka (Shihan, 8th Dan, Aikikai Foundation, pictured right) as its Technical Director.
The B.A.F. has “Full Recognition” status from the Aikido World Headquarters, Tokyo and is a founder member of both the International Aikido Federation and the British Aikido Board.
The structure of the B.A.F. teaching syllabus is closely based on that of the World Headquarters and not only proficiency of techniques but also correctness of manner and attitude is greatly emphasised.
The original teaching of the Founder excluded any form of competition and emphasised the principles of non-aggression and harmony. The B.A.F. strongly maintains this attitude, and every effort is made to inculcate into our members the principles of non-violence and concern for others, both inside and outside the practice room.