“budō” martial way
Aikidō is a system of fighting techniques, the mastery of which requires regular and intensive training. Just as a craftsman has to go through years of hard work to acquire and absorb the techniques of his profession, before he eventually can become creative and artistic even, in Aikidō a corresponding amount of training is necessary before you may call yourself competent or even a master of your craft. Seen this way the expression “martial arts” is used here first of all in the sense of a craft.
But beyond that Aikidō also constitutes a path: path is the literal translation of “-dō” (in the sense of way of life or method), which in Japanese often signifies a philosophical and mystical method of personal development.
“shugyō” ascetic exercises, spiritual training
As a philosophical-mystical method of personal development Aikidō training promotes not only endurance, agility, fitness and body awareness, but also concentration and perseverance, self-discipline, self-confidence (not arrogance!), attention, courtesy and equanimity, which will help you to deal calmly with other people or with the stress of everyday life in modern society. Therefore, along with the physical balance of your body, your inner, mental balance is also trained.
(Author: Max Seinsch)