Aikido is known as a martial art of Japanese origins in which the defender principally uses throws and joint-locks to secure himself. As a result of the historical evolution of aikido, the general concept “aiki-do” has multiple meanings, which causes confusion and misunderstandings. The reason for this ambivalence is simple: both of the concepts “aiki” and “do” can have a completely different sense because of the historical development of martial arts.

"Aiki" can refer to "synchronising with the opponent", but also to "unification with the universe". "Do" can refer to "technical study", but also to "tao", "The way", as in Chinese taoism.

Within the existing aikido-schools today one can destinguish "instrumental" schools on the one hand, whereby the efficiency of the techniques is accentuated, and pacifist schools on the other hand, where one aims at peace and self-development. In the first case the concept "aikido" is an abbreviation of aiki-jujutsu (as yielding unarmed fighting technique ), in the second case it is the name of a new aiki-budo (as peace-loving martial art).

Among others because of reciprocal influences, generally a hybrid martial art originated with both ultra-nationalist and pacifist traits, depending upon the organisation of the training and upon the personal insight of the practitioners.

In order to develop and to universalise aikido further as a peace loving martial art or “art of peace”, Peter Van de Ven created a new and modern aikido, an aikido for the 21st century, aimed at self-care and self-cultivation: "heiwa shugi ryu aikido", in short "HSR-aikido". Being an active relaxation, this new style of aikido aims, just like zen, reiki, shiatsu or yoga, in particular at the self-care of the practitioners. Our association promotes this new style of aikido.

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