THE ORIGINS OF AIKIDO
O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969)
Founder of Aikido
The invention and the spirit of aikido
Aikido is a modern martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century. Morihei Ueshiba was inspired by the different traditional Japanese martial arts practiced by samurai, including jujutsu and the art of the sword and spear, to create aikido.
Unlike many traditional martial arts, which strive to destroy the attacker, aikido seeks to deter and neutralize the aggressive intentions of the opponent.
Aikido is the art of becoming one with the spirit (energy) which animates everything. Aikido is not about the opposition of antagonistic, diametrically opposed forces but about finding the perfect harmony between both forces. Because of these very principles (harmony-understanding-agreement), aikido cannot be competitive, the only "adversary" being yourself.
This principle of "non-violence", the mental basis of aikido, consists in creating "emptiness" in oneself so that we can better understand and get closer to what surrounds us, whatever form it may take, calmness or violence, peacefulness or destructiveness, so as to be in harmony with the universe.
The development of aikido around the world
The Hombu Dojo, the historic dojo where aikido was first practiced and taught, was built in 1931 in Tokyo. In 1942 the founder, O Sensei, put his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba at the head of the Hombu Dojo.
In 1948 the Aikikai organisation was officially created. O Sensei asked Kisshomaru Ueshiba to structure and promote the development of aikido in Japan and around the world. Until then only an elite (the military, high-ranking civil servants and the aristocracy) were taught aikido.
O Sensei had his disciples and his son teach aikido at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, while he retired to Iwama, where he continued to teach aikido until his death on April 26, 1969.
The Aikikai sent numerous experts all over the world.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999), Doshu.
Moriteru Ueshiba, actual Doshu.
The development of aikido in France
Many Hombu Dojo experts were sent to France to teach and develop aikido :
1951 Minoru Mochizuki
1955 Tadashi Abe
1959 Mutsuro Nakazono
1961 Masamichi Noro
1965 Nobuyoshi Tamura
Hirokazu Kobayashi (private visit)
The Frenchman, André Nocquet, pioneer of aikido and O Sensei’s student between 1955 and 1957, was very active in the development of aikido in France. In 1984 he founded the GAAN, which became the GHAAN in 1988.
In 1962, Belgium has had the honor of receiving master Murashige Aritomo, 9th dan, (1895-1964), personal representative of O Sensei.