The Story of Aikido
Aikido is a true budo or Martial Way that has evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Studied in earnest, budo is more than a science of tactics and self-defense; it is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.
Aikido was developed in the early 20th century by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O-Sensei (Great Teacher) to more than over one million students of Aikido throughout the world. Even as a young man, he was an extraordinary martial artist, a master of the arts of the sword, staff, spear, and ju-jitsu. But O-Sensei also had a strong spiritual drive, and brooded over the futility of a path based on victory over others.
Leading a life of austerity and rigorous training, he struggled with this dilemma. It was resolved in a moment of profound awakening. Transformed by his spiritual insights, O-Sensei's technical mastery evolved into a martial art of refinement and astonishing power, fundamentally different from those that preceded it. He wrote: “The secret of Aikido is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.”
O-Sensei maintained that budo is a work of love, a path to overcome discord in ourselves and bring peace to the world, “to make the heart of the universe one's own heart.”
There have always been visionaries of remarkable insight, but O-Sensei taught that true awareness is not grasped by intellect alone. “This is not mere theory,” he said. “You must practice it.”
In 1927, O-Sensei moved to Tokyo where he founded his first dojo, the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, which still exists today as the Aikido World Headquarters. On April 26, 1969, O-Sensei passed away, leaving his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, to become Aikido Doshu ("Aikido Headmaster") of the Aikikai World Headquarters. Kisshomaru Ueshiba Doshu was in turn succeeded by his son and O-Sensei’s grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu in January 1999, who to this day continues to spread the art of Aikido throughout the world.
About Aikido Practice
Aikido has no contests. It is based on mutual respect, cooperation and friendship. Its philosophy, ideals and ethics are inseparable from actual Aikido training.
Aikido develops an overall awareness and skill that allows the choice of a wide range of appropriate responses. It helps develop a strong yet supple, relaxed body as well as a calm clear mind. At its highest level, Aikido is a welcome alternative to violence.
Classes in classical Japanese weapons forms enhance and complement Aikido training. The use of the boken (wooden sword) and the jo (wooden staff) in paired practice aids the development of correct posture, timing and reflex reaction.
- To learn more about Aikido's institution and history, please refer to the Aikikai Foundation»