Developed in the 1900's by Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido is a culmination of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. It is truly the result of a lifetime of martial study. The name Aikido is often translated as 'the Way of unifying (with) life energy' or as 'the Way of harmonious spirit.' Ueshiba's goal in Aikido was to create an effective art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido harnesses the speed and power of an opponent's attack to be used against them. It is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it. Done properly, Aikido requires very little physical strength, as the power and brutality is truely from the attack. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks. Aikido can be categorized under the general umbrella of grappling arts.
Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the O'moto-kyu religion. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him.
Some may refer to Take Sensei's Aikido as 'Tenshin' Aikido. However, it is not officially a separate style of Aikido. It is just his unique approach to Aikikai Aikido. In fact, Take Sensei is organized under the Aikikai Aikido World Headquarters meaning his particular Aikido can not be identified as anything but Aikikai.
So why do some refer to his Aikido as 'Tenshin' Aikido? Because his approach to the art is so very different than the Aikikai. After World War II, Aikido changed its focus from a martial form of art to one of peace, harmony and moving meditation. Take Sensei, when studying in Japan not only studied at the Aikikai world headquarters but also sought out the teachers of O'Sensei to better understand the techniques of the founder. What he developed was an approach to the art that was more martial, more similar to the Aikido of pre-World War II. This is the methodology he taught to Sinclair Sensei who, in turn, teaches it here at Bushikan Aikido.
Does that mean Bushikan Aikido is a 'Tenshin' style Aikido? No. While many of our techniques resemble the Aikido being performed by Take Sensei, we have expanded upon the methods in order to keep our martial art practical and effective. Fighting evolves. Any art not pushing to get better is in turn, getting left behind. Therefore, while we are true to our foundation, we are constantly seeking the next level and evolving.
This means that Bushikan Aikido is a unique form that is focused on the martial side of the art. Beacause of this, it only stands to reason that Bushikan Aikido blaze its own path as an independent form of Aikido. No longer in association with Take Sensei or the Aikikai, we are organized under the Martial Arts Association - International. This allows Bushikan to focus on a functional and practical form of Aikido instead of the Aikikai's meditative approach. Both forms offer tremendous value and both are valid approaches differing only in what a new student is looking for; medatative or function.