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Aikido is an art based on non-resistance. The untrained impulse is to push when pushed, and pull when pulled. In Aikido, we instead agree with the opponent and help him go the way he was headed while maintaning grounding, so that the attacker loses balance and defeats himself.
In Aikido there are no formal competitions because in Aikido the goal is not to defeat one's opponent. Paradoxically, as soon as defeat becomes the goal, all power is lost. True victory is victory over oneself.
The lessons of Aikido are easily extended into life outside the dojo. "Giving in to get your way" works as well in Aikido throws as it does on the job, at home, and on the playground.
Click here for a wonderful story by Terry Dobson which demonstrates the true spirit of Aikido.
The USAF is a non-profit educational institution created for the purpose of spreading and maintaining the integrity of the Japanese martial art of Aikido, as exemplified and developed by its Founder, Master Morihei Ueshiba, and as disseminated by the Aikikai Foundation, Aikido Hombu Dojo, the Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
The main aims of the USAF are to develop and guide the practice and instruction of Aikido as established by Hombu, to promote and develop good will, fellowship and lines of communication among its members, to standardize gradings, to register dan (senior level) grades with Hombu, and to establish and maintain close contact with the Shihan (master teachers) officially dispatched as representatives by Hombu.
To accomplish this, the USAF organizes, promotes and conducts Aikido demonstrations and seminars, encourages activities of member dojos, and researches, studies and publishes information and materials pertaining to Aikido.