The Art of Aikido is a sophisticated and elegant method of self-defense. Its philosophy values compassion over retribution as a response to conflict. Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), known as O-Sensei (great teacher) to aikido students around the world. O-Sensei was a diminutive but formidable martial artist. A deeply spiritual man who was troubled by strife and suffering, he believed that to resolve personal conflict we must develop a peaceful heart and spread peace throughout the world. As he explored these ideas in his training, he developed new movements that met force with harmony. The distinctive circular movements of aikido are a legacy of O-Sensei's quest. O’Sensei taught that the true purpose of Aikido was the loving protection of all living things.