In 2016 the Worldwide Aikido Sports Federation or WSAF was founded to oversee and manage the worldwide development of competitive ‘’Sport Aikido’’. The organisation has offices in Russia, USA and the UK, but is registered in Switzerland as a non for profit ‘’Verein’’ a community interest company. Participants at competitions can come from all types of Aikido practised. Some of the key objectives of WSAF is to provide a platform for unified international tournaments and world championships, to develop rules for both randori and embu that are internationally recognised, and to have competitions judged by officials who are very informed of the sport. The focus for WSAF is also to ensure a drug free sport, competitors perform in a safe environment and competitions are financially sustainable. The ultimate goal for WSAF is to grow the sport globally that Olympic recognition is achieved.
Aikido is a modern martial art and when it was originally developed, the goal was to create an art that practitioners could use in self-defence without injuring their attacker. It has often been dubbed as the sport of peace. Aikido originates from the martial art Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but the founder Ueshiba diverged from that in 1920. Today Aikido is practised all over the world in various styles and interpretations. Despite the variations, they share a common theme to always consider the welfare of the attacker. They also share in the techniques originally taught by the founder. The art of Daitō-ryū was the main influence on Aikido. Techniques involve empty-handed throwing and joint-locking, Ueshiba also added weapons in his training movements. These include the spear (yari), the short staff (jō), and on occasion the bayonet (jūken). The main weapon is swordsmanship (kenjutsu). Training includes a high degree of physical and mental ability. Beginners first need to learn how to safely fall or role. After the basic techniques are mastered, students then progress to more freestyle defence and the use of weaponry.