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Aikido finds its origin in ancient China, but the concept of "ki" ("ki" refers to the power that is the driving force of life) is connected with Shinto and has a peculiarly Japanese development. Largely a spiritual exercise, it has no offensive techniques. It relies on throws and holding techniques without resorting so much to strength. Also, one's technique becomes more efficient as one one learns the special aikido art of breathing.
Aikido is actually relatively new, and had not been organized and named until the 1920's. Fundamental aikido techniques can be learned without difficulty by old or young, male or female. It is certainly effective for spiritual cultivation.
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