There were a number of splits in organizations after the death of Morihei Ueshiba. The main organization, the Aikikai, is still managed by the Ueshiba family. The style I study was established by Roy Suenaka after he broke away from Koichi Tohei in the mid-1970's. It is commonly known as Wadokai Aikido. Here's the school's official website.
Aikido has a philosophical/religious underpinning, based in Shinto and Buddhism. There are Aikido styles that are so derivative as to seem much like
I do not pretend that this art is some magical defense that would prevent me from getting myself hurt or killed in every situation. I see it as an active part of my training, an art that I have managed to continue to study as I get older. I train with people that have studied many different arts, boxing, judo, karate, jujitsu, arnis(or eskrima), and others. It is an effort to improve my fitness and my skills and maybe have what I need if the situation ever arises and I'm in a place where carrying was not an option.
I started this training late in life, I was 49 when I discovered Wadoki Aikido. I will never be the guy that wows the crowds. I'm just a journeyman, practicing 3 nights a week, attending camps and seminars when I can, and loving the experience.
The next post will explain the summer camp I attended. Here's a picture of me, throwing my partner during a test a few years ago. The testing board is on the elevated stage. My instructor and several of my friends are seated on the far wall. It's not a great picture, it was late, the lighting in the 80 year old building is poor, flash is not allowed during testing, but here's what I looked like when I tested for Nidan.