aikido

Aikido is a modern non-violent, non-aggressive Japanese martial art that was developed in the early 1900s by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). In Japanese, Aikido means “the Way of Harmony with the Force and Principle of Nature”. Aikido is derived from Japan’s traditional Budo (the Way of martial arts), yet goes beyond the realm of Budo; it is a path on which the keen edge of martial art is used as a “Way” to spiritual growth. Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, studied many traditional Japanese martial arts, including jiu-jitsu and the art of the sword. He joined the imperial army and fought in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905-6. This first taste of war along with other experiences during the two world wars, strengthened his opposition to the use of martial arts for destructive purposes. Having opened his own dojo (training hall) in 1930, Ueshiba began his search for the true meaning of Budo as a path for man’s spiritual growth. His training, both physical and spiritual was rigorous and unceasing and through this he obtained almost inhuman levels of power becoming known at that time as ‘the greatest martial artist in Japan’. In 1942, Aikido was officially recognised as Ueshiba’s martial art. Prior to his death, at the age of 86, O’Sensei (great master), as he came to be known, went on to obtain full realisation and continued training and teaching his students living to see Aikido spread throughout the world.