The origins of Aikido go back 900 years to the development of Aiki-jūjutsu
(i.e. energy blending flexible techniques) as the secret family
fighting art for the leaders of the Minamoto samurai clan. In
those early times, the focus of the art was on battlefield survival and
the annihilation of ones’ opponents. In the first half of the 20th
century an accomplished Japanese martial artist named Morihei Ueshiba
established modern Aikido by synthesizing his knowledge of various
martial arts with Aiki-jūjutsu. Over time, Ueshiba began to see his
modern Aikido as a way of cultivating personal development, such that
Aikido practitioners could ultimately defend themselves while also
protecting their attacker from injury.
While it retains the
characteristics of a true martial art, Aikido techniques are practiced
in a way that emphasizes the utilization of an opponent’s momentum;
allowing the Aikido practitioner to neutralize the attack, control and
then restrain the attacker.
It should not be surprising that,
such a level of control can only be obtained by great discipline and
dedication to serious training over a protracted period of time.
However, the long-term benefits of this kind of training project far
beyond the potential for a rare self-defense moment and extend well
into many aspects of daily life.
Ueshiba, continued to evolve
Aikido over his long martial art career, but he did not concentrate
heavily on teaching pedagogy. As a result, several of his original
students evolved their own methods for teaching and caring on the
evolution of Aikido as they understood it.
Wheatbelt Aikido bases its teaching methods primarily on the curriculum and standards developed by the Birankai Aikido association.