The Japanese word Aikido is written with three characters which translate as "the way of spiritual harmony." Aikido is a budo, or martial way, evolved in the tradition of Japanese warrior arts, yet with a unique approach to self-defense. Aikido is more than a martial science of strategy and tactics. It is a discipline for training the mind and spirit.
All Aikido techniques and movements are based on the idea of harmony. Aikido emphasizes blending with an attacker by moving in such a way as to neutralize the force of the attack itself and thus neutralize the attacker. This is done by using spherical movements which allow the Aikido student to deflect the attacker's energy while simultaneously entering close to the attacker, to blend with the attack, and so neutralize it.
The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, said that Aikido is spontaneous and creative; that the movements of Aikido are natural. In other words, they take advantage of the way our bodies want to move. When you practice Aikido you should be moving naturally, not awkwardly. This is what we mean when we say we seek to blend with an attack rather than clash with it.
For more information about aikido visit the Capital Aikikai website.