History of Aikido
The founder of Aikido, Morihei
Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei (great teacher) was born in Japan on
December 14, 1883. As a boy, he witnessed local thugs beat his father
political reasons. Although frail and sickly, he determined to become
that he could take revenge and prevent being a victim himself. He
himself to physical conditioning and the practice of martial arts,
certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing, and
fighting. O’Sensei also saw combat as a soldier during the Russo
met Sokaku Takeda in 1912 on the island of Hokkaido. Takeda, a fierce teacher,
was to become the
most influential of O’Sensei’s teachers and Aikido is most closely
his art of Daito Ryu Jujutsu. Seven
years later O’Sensei left Hokkaido
for home to tend his ailing father.
During this journey, he
Onisaburo Deguchi, leader of the Omoto Kyo
Shinto religious sect. O’Sensei
profoundly affected by meeting Deguchi and returned to Ayabe to study
after the death of his father. It
there O’Sensei began his first formal dojo, the Ueshiba Juku.
this time, O’Sensei’s spiritual studies
began to influence his approach to the practice of budo. The severe joint locks and
crushing throws of
Daito Ryu began to shift towards more flowing movement, requiring less
in order to control an opponent. By combining his martial training with
religious and political ideologies, he created the modern martial art
aikido. In addition to his spiritual studies, changes in Japanese society
influenced his martial studies as well.
|Although the concept of
bushido, the way of the
warrior, was deeply ingrained in the Japanese psyche, the Meiji
an end to the feudal samurai system and changed the way in which the martial
arts were viewed. Ueshiba decided on the
name "aikido", the way of spiritual harmony, in 1942 (before that he
called his martial art "aikibudo”, the martial way of spiritual
|In 1925, several years after
moving to Tokyo, O’Sensei was
challenged by a naval officer to a bokken (wooden sword)
duel. O’Sensei declined to use a weapon and avoided
his attacker’s assault by simply moving.
Eventually, the officer exhausted himself and collapsed, defeated
without being struck by O’Sensei.
this match, O’Sensei experienced what he referred to as a “golden
moment”. In a state of what he called perfect mental
clarity, he realized that, “The true nature of budo is in the loving
of all things.” This remains the central
tenet of Aikido today.
traveled to Hawaii
in 1961 to “build a silver bridge of
understanding between East and West.”
Aikido then began its
to the rest of the United States.
retired to his country home in Iwama
in 1964 and died there April 26, 1969
Neither Aikido of Richmond, LLC, nor any of its instructors, is currently
affiliated with Sensei Suenaka or the American International
Ki Development and Philosophical