The word Aikido can be dissected as follows

AI - HARMONY, UNION
KI - SPIRIT, MIND, ENERGY
DO - WAY PATH

When the characters are placed together, Aikido is perceived to mean different things to different Aikidoka.
Quotable descriptions include:

» The way of happiness, peace and love.
                                     
Truce, not aggression. Harmony not confrontation. These are the basic principles of Aikido. Students who study Aikido learn that harmony is preferable to confrontation, that peaceful solutions are preferable to non-peaceful solutions. They learn constructive problem solving techniques which becomes a positive influence in their lives outside of Aikido.

» The way of universal life energy and creative principal of life.
                                           
                       Aikido teaches students that they as well as others are unique and special. Within the framework of a class they are allowed to experiment nourishing their creative abilities.

  » The blending of your spirit with your partners.

 All students are taught to passively blend with aggressive force, neutralizing it's intensity. This back and forth or to & from exercise teaches them that there is as much power in soft as there is in hard.
 They learn how to work with different individuals, enjoying the similarities and respecting the differences.

» The way of unification of spirit and body.

The student learns to relax his body when blending, when he is able to do this without effort, he has unified mind and body.
                                                                                        
» The way of life through harmony with the universe.

In the practice of Aikido students are taught not to harm others, this ideal in turn is practiced generally towards all life.

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