Aikido was originally developed in Japan by O Sensei (Great Teacher) Morihei Ueshiba to defend against other styles of martial arts, both armed and unarmed. In the early 1900s O Sensei Ueshiba’s Aikido grew very popular, drawing students from diverse regions of Asia and many different martial arts to study the “new” martial art. O Sensei Ueshiba had developed an effective close combat system which could give its students choice over the degree of injury to be inflicted on an attacker: from simple neutralization of the attack (causing no harm to the attacker) to total incapacitation of the attacker. O Sensei understood the need for personal protection but also the need for individual growth of spirit and strength of character. To create a peaceful warrior, a person who is at one with himself, humble but also powerful if need be, was the ancient and respected purpose of training in budo (the martial way).
Hiriki Aikido is the style of Aikido developed by Shihan (Respected Teacher) Alex Rusinko over the past five decades. It was the first internationally recognized American Aikido by the World Karate Union. Hiriki Aikido embodies powerful techniques of hand to hand combat developed in pre-WWII Japan, along with ancient Samurai warrior codes of courage, loyalty, and honor. In the tradition of Aikido’s founder, Shihan Rusinko has continued to develop Hiriki Aikido. New Hiriki techniques have emerged in response to modern weapons and attacks and new legal realities. Established traditional techniques have grown more powerful and effective, streamlined and effortless. Every Hiriki technique meets two absolute criteria: one, it works; and two, it allows choice. Aikido; we did not invent it, but we sure improved it.