Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.

Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei

Biography
   David Birt serves as chief instructor, or Sensei, of the Davis Aikikai. Sensei Birt began his martial arts career in 1954 at age 8, practicing Judo as a child in Japan. Since then, he has studied Aikido for 44 years, training with five direct students of O'Sensei, and holds the rank of 6th dan. Mr. Birt also has a black belt in Iaido, the art of drawing the sword.

Thoughts on Aikido
   Most martial arts seek to resolve violence by training people to be more professional and efficient at hitting, blocking, grappling, and kicking than the average attacker. This attempt to solve the problem of violence through violence can succeed but it rarely does. Rather violence begets violence, both on a personal and political level. Aikido resolves the problem of violence through the application of an effective but non-violent methodology that neutralizes the energy of any attack without injury or destruction.
   Aikido sees the universe in all its dazzling contradictions as differentiated manifestations of an underlying energy called Ki. Aikido is the Way (DO) of being in Harmony (AI) with that Energy (KI), hence the name Ai-ki-do. Aikido manifests the Way of Harmony through flexible circular movements that allow conflicting energies to merge into one unity. In this manner Aikido breaks down the subject-object dichotomy common to most martial arts. There is no subject to be protected by beating, killing or otherwise dominating an objectified attacker.
          Continued on next page, and links to essays.