Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Martial arts are not pacifistic in nature. All martial arts acknowledge that individuals not only have a right to defend themselves and others, but a moral duty to do so. Most martial arts at least give lip service to the notion that one should inflict as little injury on an aggressor as possible. To my knowledge, Aikido is the only martial art that was developed specifically with this imperative in mind. The founder of the art, Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969), adapted techniques from several older martial arts into his curriculum, particularly Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu.

Jujutsu styles emphasize "soft" techniques, meaning that they do not oppose attacks head-on, but rather redirect the force of the attack. However "soft" the technique may be, however, the end result is usually broken bones or dislocated joints. Ueshiba refined jujutsu techniques to give practitioners the option of neutralizing an attacker without serious injury to either party. Naturally, to end a combat without injuring one's opponent requires skill in execution, courage enough to avoid harming one's adversary unnecessarily, and calm enough judgement to make that determination under stress. Ueshiba's accomplishment was to develop a system that, with dedicated training, could realize this ideal.

Aikido at Wikipedia - an excellent overview of the art.

Kaiju Aikido Club - the club in Santa Fe where I practice aikido under Nakamura-sensei.

Aikido Dojo International - the organization with which Kaiju is affiliated. ADI is a new organisation and does not yet have an internet presence.

Aikido Hombu Dojo - the home organization of Aikido in Japan, with which the ADI is affiliated.