Aikido is a modern martial art, or Budo, based upon classical Japanese sword (kenjutsu) and empty hand (yawara, or jujutsu) arts.
The term, -jutsu, refers to martial tactics and techniques. The term, -do, refers to a way of life encompassing physical, spiritual, and moral dimensions
Aikido practice will ground and center you. It will teach you to remain calm under pressure. It will help you to develop a kind of strength not dependent upon muscle mass, a strength based on whole-body movement directed by unified intent (ki) and applied along the path of least resistance.
Training with Japanese Sword (Ken) and Short Staff (Jo) is an integral part of Aikido Practice. It is essential for learning proper distance and timing (maai), body movement (tai sabaki) and blending (awase). If you wait to move until your opponent has launched his attack you will not have time to evade the strike. You will be cut down.
Most people view martial arts as a fancy term for fighting. Fighting suggests strength pitted against strength, with the strongest the almost certain victor. Maybe if you're faster and have a weapon, you have a chance. In Aikido, however, you evade the attack while entering inside the attacker's defense, taking his balance and using the power of your entire body in unified motion to neutralize his attack.