Founder, Morihei Ueshiba

Aikido (合気道 Aikidō) is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. Ueshiba is often referred to as "the founder", Kaiso (開祖) or O sensei (大先生/翁先生), "Great Teacher".

“Aikido has been called one of the most subtle and sophisticated of the martial arts, and—at its higher levels—an effective discipline for the development, integration and utilization of all [woman’s and] man’s powers, physical and mental (spiritual). It is a discipline of coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individual’s physical and mental powers so that he or she will emerge as a more fully integrated human being” 

-- A. Westbrook, and O. Ratti, Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere