History of Aikido

Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O-Sensei (Great Teacher) to more than one million students of Aikido throughout the world. Even as a young man, he was an extraordinary martial artist, a master of the sword, the staff, the spear, and the art of 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, Ueshiba’s technical mastery evolved into a martial art of refinement and astonishing power, fundamentally different from those that preceded it.

“The secret of Aikido,” he wrote, “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.”

Used with permission from the United States Aikido Federation’s About Aikido page.