Aikido is essentially a modern manifestation of japanese martial arts (Budo).

Its founder, Master Moeihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), dedicated much effort to the study of various martial arts, among them the Shinkage schools (sword), Kito and Daito (traditional jujutsu), and the latter particularly influenced the development of Aikido.

oque_morihei.jpgO-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba

The eight years spent in Ayabe in the Oomoto headquarters, a sect derived from Shinto, under the guidance of the carismatic professor Onisaburo Deguchi, were the formative years of the Founder spiritual development.

He studied the philosophy and rites of meditation and purification of the Shinto religion, mastering himself in the koto-dama concept ( word-spirit ).

In 1922, Sensei Ueshiba proclaims Aiki-bujutsu as a new martial art, employing for the first time the term aiki in a specific form, denoting in this way the major influence of koto-dama in his art.

In 1924-25, after being challenged by a young navy officer, he experiments sumi-kiri, a sudden understanding of the union of the Universal ki with your own. Since then his art is based on this realization and we may say that 1924-25 marks the beginning of the spiritual development of aikido. In 1936, realizing that his art was essentially different from the old martial arts traditions, he no longer uses the word bujutsu and renames his art Aiki-budo. In February 1942, he adopts the name Aikido to identify his art as an original and distinct form of budo.

The primordial aim of Aikido is not to defeat your opponent in some trivial game, but to overcome our limitations and to prevail over our fears and weaknesses.

But Aikido is also a self defense system and its techniques are potentially lethal. Therefore it must be practiced with whole concentration and intensity.

Refering to his art during a speech, O-Sensei concluded:

"Budo is not a way of defeating the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world and molding, as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form. Training in budo is tantamount to strengthening, within my body and soul, the love of kami, the deity who begets, preserves and nurtures everything in nature."