Aikido is a Japanese Budo, or martial way, that was developed by Morihei Ueshiba (O Sensei) from martial forms such as Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu and his spiritual experiences. He formulated its principles around the 1920s and also named the practice as Aikido: the way of harmonious spirit.

Aikido is sometimes referred to as one of the most philosophical or spiritual of martial arts. Morihei Ueshiba aimed to devise a way to defend oneself while protecting the attackers. On the one hand, Aikido practitioners need to establish strength and power and on the other: nonaggression. The goal is to overcome oneself instead of cultivating violence, expressed by Morihei Ueshiba as:

"True victory, final victory over oneself, here and now".

Different people connect to different facets of Aikido. Depending upon the practitioner, they take away:

  • Physical fitness: through a robust and athletic approach to enhance balance and coordination; strengthen ligaments, tendons and joints; improve musculature; and increase cardio-vascular health,

  • Self defence: since Aikido is fundamentally a system of self-defence comprising of unarmed techniques (joint locks & throws) and weapon techniques with Tanto (wooden knife), Jo (wooden stick), and Bokken (wooden sword) -- founded on traditional samurai martial methods,

  • Budo: the warrior's way, which, in contrast to Bujutsu - the science of war, is not only about the physical aspects of fighting but also about the development of the mind and oneself; where the emphasis is not on defeating an external enemy but on a way of life that is focused inward with the aim of conquering oneself.

Pondicherry Aikikai follows the principles of Aikido laid down by the Aikikai Foundation (Aikido World Headquarters), Japan and its ethics charter of Aikido.