The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba was originally a student of jiu jitsu as well as other martial arts before he went on to develop his own style.
Although he showed great physical prowess and skill, he felt that there was something lacking. He wanted to combine his religious and philosophical beliefs with his martial skills.
The system that he developed from the 1920s came to be called aikido.
The three elements which make up the name are:-
- do, which means way or path
- ai, which can be translated as harmony or joining
- ki, which can be translated as spirit, force or energy
They refer to the basic principle of aikido - to blend with an attacker’s force and control those aggressive actions with only a small effort.
The techniques taught by Ueshiba - who we often call O Sensei, the great teacher - were effective due to the principles of timing, good posture and responding to an opponent’s intent and movement.
The underlying principles of Aikido have remained unchanged since O Sensei’s death in 1969, but many of the founding students, who travelled the world to share the art, have taken different approaches resulting in different Aikido styles.
However, the international headquarters of traditional aikido remains in Tokyo under the guidance of the third generation of the Ueshiba family, the founder’s grandson Moriteru Ueshiba.
For a more complete history:
The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba .