About Aikido

ABOUT AIKIDO

Aikido is a non-violent, non-competitive martial art, suitable for people of all ages. Aikido is based on the principles of non-violence and harmony and is ideal exercise for anyone wanting to learn self-defence and gain flexibility, strength, endurance and balance. Continued study results in improved physical and mental conditioning.

The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, felt that the true spirit of aikido aimed to create a world without enemies." This world was designed by our creator", he said, "there is no need to fight against its natural harmony". With true mind of love and compassion we can go back to the original principles of creation, and establish noble and pure world. This is what we are obliged to achieve and this is the purpose of our life.

In order to achieve this goal, the founder said we must realize two fundamental principles. First to fight for what is the right and work to overcome what is wrong in the world around us and second, to overcome our own faults. Through regular training, aikido practitioners develop both the physical power and the inner strength to work towards these ends. In aikido, we believe that the biggest enemy is not outside, but inside of oneself. Ultimately, one hopes to achieve a strong and unified mind and body with the power and focus needed to perfect ourselves and our world.

Mutsuko Minegishi (6th Dan), Guam Aikikai (with kind permission).

O SENSEI

Morihei Ueshiba (1883 - 1969), the founder of aikido, was possibly history's greatest martial artist. Even at 80, Morihei could disarm any attacker, repel multiple opponents and pin a man with a single finger.

He was born on December 4, 1883, in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, in rural Japan.

His father was a well respected farmer and his mother came from a landowning family of noble descent. After moving to Tokyo in 1902, Morihei, he began his studies in the martial arts, learning traditional jujitsu and kenjistu. He subsequently served at the front in the Russo-Japanese war and led a settlement group of more than 80 people from Tanabe who moved to a bleak area of Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. He also studied extensively in various other traditional jujitsu styles, notably Daitoryu jujitsu with the renowned master Sokaku Takeda.

A principal influence on Morihei's life and teachings was the new religion Omoto-kyo. He moved to the cult's base in nearby Ayabe, where he opened a dojo, primarily for Omoto-kyo followers. From this period, Morihei's practice took on a more spiritual character, related to his study of kotodama (a form of chanting). He named this new approach 'aiki-bujutsu' , combining elements of all he had studied to date.

After establishing a base in Tokyo, O-Sensei moved to Iwama, Ibaraki Prefecture, where he lived for the remainder of his life immersed in his ideals spanning budo, spirituality and nature.