The origins of Nihon Goshin Aikido can be traced to Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu whose greatest proponent was Sokaku Takeda. Master Shodo Morita founded the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido. He was trained by Yoshida Kitaro, an instructor of Daito Ryu Aikijitsu. Master Kitaro also trained in his family system of self-defense. In addition to training in Daito Ryu, Master Morita trained in Judo, Kobudo (weapons, Karate, and the esoteric arts. After Master Morita mastered these arts, he realized that although they were highly effective, no single style was complete. Each art focused on a separate element of self-defense: The karate arts focused on striking. The judo arts focused on throwing. The ju-jitsu arts focused on joint locks. Master Morita incorporated principles and techniques of each system into a new system called Nihon Goshin Aikido. It is significant to note that he did not merely choose the best techniques from each system. He realized that due to height differences, techniques that work for one person might not be practical for others. Nihon Goshin Aikido is a highly effective form of martial arts due to its variety of principles.
Aikido ("The Way of Harmony") has been characterized as a very graceful art with flowing footwork and sweeping body movements. The techniques of Aikido can be seen as ballet-like when appropriately performed. Using the energy of an attacker, practitioners of Aikido try to control and harness this energy, then redirect it, thus avoiding conflict. This promotes a more harmonious being in both the practitioner and those encountered in life. Because Aikido is non-aggressive and used for self-defense only; if there is no attack, there is no action. Because Aikido principles attack a persons balance and joints rather than purely striking using force, it is beneficial for people of all sexes, sizes, and shapes. Unlike other arts such as Karate and Tae Kwon Do, students are taught to use an aggressor's energy against them. Teachings in Nihon Goshin Aikido stress joint locks and throws that do not require a significant amount of strength, with the intention to disturb the attackers balance causing them to fall. Also, Nihon Goshin Aikido includes striking techniques such as kicks, punches, and elbow blows to be added to the arsenal since we know that different situations require different means in the resolution of a conflict. These skills are as practical today as they were in feudal Japan. Students are taught in a well-supervised manner, non-competitive and friendly atmosphere. New students are gradually introduced to Aikido focusing on the basics of falling and rolling and beginner techniques. Training is provided in both the mental and physical aspects of self-defense and is geared toward quick, efficient resolution of an attack.
Aikido training provides a variety of physical and mental benefits. Varied and diverse body movements that are part of Aikido keep joints flexible and improve the body's aerobic capacity and muscle tone. Maintaining a fit, limber body is essential for health and happiness. Aikido goes beyond the physical side of training as students learn to develop Ki(pron. key), the universal energy that we are all born with but fail to develop fully. Aikido is a useful martial art, allowing students to learn to defend themselves in threatening situations by using real-life conditions. The sense of self-confidence that stems from this knowledge will improve the student's overall outlook in all aspects of their lives.