Morehei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. During his childhood, he often witnessed his defenceless father being beaten by thugs for political reasons. He was determined at that point to grow strong to ensure this would not happen to him. He devoted his life to physical conditioning and later to the martial arts. O-Sensei (or “Great Teacher”), as he became known, developed into an extraordinary martial artist, a master of the sword, the staff, the spear, as well as the art of jiu-jitsu.
O-Sensei delved deeply into the study of religion (especially Shinto, Japan’s native religion of nature worship) while continuing his studies of the martial arts. Despite his abilities as a martial artist, he still felt dissatisfied. In a world torn apart by war, he struggled to find a way to harness an individual’s power in the service of peace. In a moment of profound awakening, he resolved his dilemma by developing a new martial art which incorporated his technical mastery of traditional martial arts with an ethics of harmony between individuals.
The art of Aikido, as it was later named, is fundamentally different from all other martial arts. Rooted in several styles of ju-jitsu as well as sword and spear fighting techniques, Aikido is an art of refinement and astonishing power. In the words of O Sensei, “The secret of Aikido is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself”.
O Sensei died on April 26, 1969, in Iwama, after having worked diligently to disseminate Aikido throughout the world as an instrument of peace.
Wikipedia article for Morehei Ueshiba