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History of Aikido
 
 

The founder of Aikido was probably someone who like yourself, sought to be at  peace no matter what the circumstances. He wished to maintain a harmonious  connection with all things at all times. As years passed and his martial abilities  became quite phenomenal, he spoke more and more about out global human  family and the necessity for each person to be open to the ways of nature and  the universe; to have a love and respect for all beings with the goal to heal  ourselves and the world.

The product of his life and his gift to you is Aikido.

He was born Morihei Ueshiba in 1883 in the Japanese fishing and farming village of Tanabe. His name, Morihei, meaning "abundant peace," was prophetic. He began his study of the martial arts in his youth. He trained in sumo, then traditional sword, spear, and jujutsu, while at the same time feeding a voracious appetite for mathematics, physics, and spiritual studies. Investing many years in training, his prowess and reputation as a renowned master of martial arts grew. His reputation attracted many challengers who came to test their skills and refute the increasingly legendary Ueshiba. He would inevitably defeat them all - many even asked to become his students. After one such encounter where he evaded an attacker's repeated strikes with a wooden sword, doing so without injuring his challenger, he had an enlightening revelation. Winning as a result of defeating another was not truly winning at all. From that point on, his deep spiritual beliefs and his remarkable martial art became one.

In 1942, O'Sensei (Great Teacher), as he later came to be known, began calling his martial art system Aikido, "the way of harmony and love." He still attracted many people, but this time they came in wonder and awe of a living legend and the power of his Aikido.

O'Sensei maintained a simple lifestyle all his and kept a strong attachment to the heart through his farming. He loved every aspect of it: working with the soil, planting nurturing, and harvesting. He did the same with his Aikido. It has now grown all over the world - millions of seedlings growing and spreading the nourishment of Aikido.

O'Sensei saw the great potential of Aikido to create global healing and encouraged his students to give it to the world. The purpose of Aikido, he maintained, "is to build a heaven on earth by bringing people together in friendship and harmony. I teach this art to help my students learn how to serve their fellow beings."


O'Sensei died on April 26, 1969, but not before visiting the United States and seeing his beloved Aikido being taught and practiced not only in Japan but all around the world.

SPECIAL NOTE: "There exists only on Aikido - the Aikido O'Sensei left to us. There are however many different ways of practicing it since O'Sensei over the years taught Aikido differently to different people. O'Sensei himself often proclaimed, "Today's techniques will be different tomorrow!" It is therefore futile and disgraceful to the memory of O'Sensei to argue about which school practices "true" Aikido since in doing so one displays an appalling ignorance of the art. some of the finest examples of Aikido at work in the history of mankind have been brought about by people who never studied the art."

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