The purpose of the Purdue University Aikido Club is to provide an environment to practice and learn the Japanese martial art of aikido. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit".
Aikido is not primarily a system of combat but instead is a mainly defensive martial art that utilizes the energy of the attacker to resolve a situation with the least amount of harm to all parties involved. Practitioners seek to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido techniques are normally performed by "blending" with the motion of the attacker, rather than directly opposing the attack. The aikido practitioner redirects the attacker's momentum , using minimum effort, with various types of throws or joint locks.
Students study fundamental and efficient body movement in order to train the mental and physical reactions that the body has in the face of aggression. The foundation of training is the development of one's "center" and "balance". In aikido training takes place in a cooperative learning environment at a pace commensurate with the abilities of each trainee. There are no tournaments, competitions, contests, or sparring. Nevertheless, training is physically demanding, contributing stamina, physical fitness, flexibility, relaxation, and a healthy sense of self confidence to practitioners, in addition to self-defense skills. Aikido was developed during the first half of the twentieth century by Morihei Ueshiba (“O Sensei” or “Great Teacher”) and is now practiced worldwide. For further information, please refer, for example, to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido.