Aikido was founded last century in the ancient traditions of Asian martial art by Morehei Ueshiba, a famous Zen master known as O'Sensei - the Great Teacher.
Like similar arts such as Tai Chi , Yoga and Kung Fu it’s based on insights into the nature of Ki, the “life energy” known as Chi in China as revealed to O'Sensei during Zen meditation.
One of its goals is to develop the calm and extremely insightful “Zen state” to such a degree that it can be maintained in even the most hazardous situations.
Achieving this demands the practise of a broad range of unique self-defence skills based on the Yin-Yang principle which enable practitioners to develop physically as well as mentally, leading to Satori, Zen enlightenment.
When asked what the term Aikido means O’Sensei replied that “It’s the art of loving protection for all beings. "