O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba
„I am what I am today only because I did KATAI training for 50 years.“
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, was born in
In youth he was sickly and his father spent a lot of money and efforts to help his son to cure. At the age of 17 Morihei left to Tokio and started with martial arts career. At the age of 20 he enlisted in the army, where he improved his martial arts knowledge, especially the fight with bayonet.
In 1912 he moved to the wild island
Although Morihei was already an experienced fighter when he first met Sokaku, he could not touch Takeda's mastership. The future founder of Aikido was fascinated by Takeda's art, called Daito ryu jujutsu. Morihei spent plenty of time and money in studies of Takeda's mastership. After many years Morihei became one of his best students and Takeda's techniques became a base for Aikido.
On his way back to Tanabe to visit his father, Morihei met Onisaburo Deguchi, the main representative of the Omoto sect. Deguchi was rapt in Morihei's martial art and persuaded him to establish a martial art school. Thanks to his exceptional martial skills and students' support Budokan dojo in Tokio was established. Most of the students were navy members. Reputable Aikido masters such as Kenji Tomiki, Minoru Mochizuki, Shigemi Yonekawa, Rinjiro Shirata, Koichi Tohei a Gozo Shioda had been his students.
During the World War II most of his students enlisted in the army. The war emptied the Kobukan dojo. In 1942 Morihei decided to move to Iwama, the
Years, spent on Iwama far from a city rush, had a crucial influence on Aikido development. Ueshiba could fully concentrate on martial arts. His major aim was to find a peaceful settlement of conflicts. It was in Iwama that he first called this art Aikido.
In those years Ueshiba was absorbed in the studies of a sword and jo (a stick) , later called aiki ken and aiki jo. He considered mastering of these techniques to be a base for empty hand techniques. Aikido was (and still is) an extensive system that includes weapon techniques on the one hand and empty hand techniques on the other hand.
In this period the founder also formulated a concept of takemusu aiki that consists in a spontaneous performance of a technique adequate to a specific situation.
In his last years his health was failing. Most of his techniques were minimized into a gestures, waving a hand, which threw the students away several meters. His last years Aikido was a result of more than 60 year practice and training as he often referred.
The founder of Aikido died on April, 26, 1969.