This section will gradually research and bring to you the origins of Aikido.
We are intending to fully explain where Aikido came from, and to comment on its current position and possible future directions.
Article 1: Our Founder - O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba
Native name - 植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei
Born - December 14, 1883 , Tanabe, Wakayama, Japan
Died - April 26, 1969 (aged 85)
Nationality - Japanese
Style - Aikido
Teacher(s) - Takeda Sōkaku
Words of the Founder:
"We should control our opponent, whilst protecting ourselves. In other words, we can control our opponent without being hurt physically, if we lead him with our minds."
This article will contain video clips and useful information about our Founder, writing in reverse order of events: that is to say, the most recent aspects of his life of import to us (his proponents). Why reverse order? Well, may we suggest that as we get older we get wiser? If this is so, this article prioritises by his demeanour as fully developed, first.
The last available footages of O'Sensei's practice were in colour. They show that he started to concentrate more on Ki and centre-responses. Bearing in mind that he was at one time of rather bigger stature, this shows that he was beginning to reduce his aikido to the smallest possible outward movement, and considerable 'mind-leading' with 'commentary' endings. Bearing in mind the ju-jitsu's as practiced in his earlier years, his endings are not demonstrating destructive end, but harmonious conclusions. His aims for aikido were for universal harmony and 'uniting with the gods'.
"In true budo there is neither opponent nor foe.
True budo is uniting with the centre of the Universe.
It is the work of love.
It is neither fighting nor killing.
Rather, true budo gives life and nurtures all things."
Prior to Daito-Ryu
Although O'Sensei developed an art to unify the world and bring greater peace, it is nevertheless interesting to see those arts in which he was surrounded during his early life - the martial way of Japan as then taught. It was from these types of arts that he probably both adopted (and discarded as inappropriate) aspects in the development of his NEW WAY - the way of Aikido.
Whilst in the Imperial Army, O'Sensei practised Yagyu Shingan Ryu Jujutsu.
It is noted that O'Sensei practised for several months, at an early age, the art of Tenshin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu in Tanabe.
Tenshin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu Demo.
Article 2: Words of Our Founder
"In the old days, there was a method of swordsmanship where whilst letting your opponent cut your skin, you cut his flesh; whilst letting him cut your flesh, you cut his bone. Nowadays, however, we should not even let our opponent cut our skin. To let our opponent cut our skin, means to hurt and endanger ourselves - that should not happen. We should control our opponent, whilst protecting ourselves. In other words, we can control our opponent without being hurt physically, if we lead him with our minds."
"Master the techniques of aiki, the Way of the Gods, And no foe will ever attack."
"The divine offspring of Amaterasu o mikami and Susanoo no mikotore present the beginning of the Japanese race.
These are spirits which emanate from the deities and I am one of them.
I am training myself through my body, spirit, and soul.
After perfecting my body and spirit, I train in holy places which serve as my dojo.
When I merge with the divine spirit and train myself, I become the spirit ofIzunome - the vital energy of all existence.
This produces the true power of the Japanese spirit.
Then, I become one with the Universe which also serves as my training ground.
Thus, for the first time, life emerges. Aikido is the shortest path for training to reach this stage."
How do we develop ourselves and the great Universe through aikido?
"This Universe is the expression of the passion of a spirit of the Creator.
All spects of the Kingdom of Heaven - mountains, rivers, threes, plants, and the great spirit of love towards all things - are the expressions of movements of spirits and forms.
My goal is to lead people in the foundation of a universal nation. This ismiogi, or purification.
We don't discard the martial ways of the past which were created based on the extensive skills and knowledge of the great masters.
We must make Japanese martial arts independent - with these traditional arts as their foundation.
We must cause man's spirit to bloom and nurture a Japan where life is worth living."
Article 3: Words of Our Founder from "Divine Techniques" video.
"Aikido renders its service by penetrating, breathing and caressing the KI of the Universe."
"Aikido serves the path of completion of all things."
"It is not mere swordplay. Swordplay leads to cold war due to the reverberations produced when bodies come into contact with bodies and things with things."
"We must seriously reflect on the history and geography of Japan. There are history books which tell all about the strategies of warfare of Japan. Classics such as theKojiki discuss these subjects. Although everyone dislikes them, the teachings of our departed imperial ancestors themselves are strategies."
"Fighting has long persisted in the world. We have to use the strategy of ki, in other words, the spirit of aiki. The world up until now has been in a solid state dominated by physical power. The world is now entering a soft phase. My movements are soft in nature. That's why I throw with ki, even without using my hands. Somehow I lead my partner as my spirit wishes."
"Martial arts are not something you do by choosing a form. Techniques differ depending on the particular circumstances."
"Techniques of KI, bridled by the spirit! May the Kami of Heaven and Earth guide our acts of purification!"
All of the acts of man reveal the subtle workings of kotodama. It is the echoing of sounds which will lead you to an undertstanding when you truly examine yourself. Aikido, especially, is born amidst the echoing of sounds.
"If we look inside and gaze at our bodies with our inward eye, we see that the history of the divine world flows within us. The past and the future are played out in a single lifetime within us. All of the activities within reflect the history of the divine world. This is aiki."
"In a word, the principle object of aikido is to build a paradise on earth by creating harmony in the world and making friends. Let's make friends so there will be no enemies. This is the principle of nonresistance. I have everyone listen to my ideas in order to make this a reality."
"Only when people realize that this old man, Ueshiba, has taught them about Japan's good points will they express their gratitiude and consider me of value."
"Invite him to approach, a breeze stirs. Slice it through! Polish your spirit immersed in the love of the Kami! "