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Aikido (合気道 ,) is a martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies and philosophy. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical energy, as the aikidoka (aikido practitioner) leads the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido can be categorized under the general umbrella of grappling arts.
Aikido techniques are usually a defense against an attack; therefore, to practice aikido with their partner, students must learn to deliver various types of attacks. Although attacks are not studied as thoroughly as in striking-based arts, "honest" attacks (a strong strike or an immobilizing grab) are needed to study correct and effective application of technique.
Aikido training is based primarily on two partners practicing pre-arranged forms (kata). The basic pattern is for the receiver of the technique (uke) to initiate an attack against the thrower (nage,tori or shite) who neutralises this attack with an aikido technique.