The Aïkido Founder

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O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba

MORIHEI UESHIBA was born in 1883 and passed away in 1969. He was the master and the creator of Aïkido, a traditional martial art that is derived from Aiki-jutsu whose most ancient techniques date back to nearly seven hundred years ago.

According to some, Aiki-jutsu dated from KAMAKURA time (1166-1333), one of the most brilliant eras of Japanese history. It was founded by MINAMOTO YOSHIMITSU and transmitted from generation to generation in the MINAMOTO family, a well-known line in Japan, then to the TAKEDA family.

After seven generations, the legitimate heir was the master MORIHEI UESHIBA who assimilated these  ancient techniques to arrive at what is currently known as Aïkido.

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The founder defined his Art as the manifestation of TAKEMUSU. Today, Aikido Takemusu defines its practice by its faithfulness to the authentic origin of this art.

The Master MORIHEI UESHIBA studied many martial arts like KENDO (Japanese fencing),  JU JUTSU (ancestor of JUDO) and SO-JUTSU (spear). As early as 1915, he deepened his studies in the techniques of Daito school under the direction of the master SOKAKU TAKEDA. These techniques contained many of the aiki jutsu movements.

After that, master UESHIBA created his own school and taught Aikido. This art remained  secret for a long time: his teaching was only authorized for a military elite and a privileged few.

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Morihiro Saito

In 1941, he permanently left Tokyo and settled with his family in IWAMA where during the last 29 years of his life, the founder of Aikido developed and deepened his art among some farmers, very far from the “So Hombu Aikikai World Center” of Tokyo.

During this important post-war period, the founder gradually ascended to his highest and deepest expression of his Art, developing whole sections of Aikido, including BUKIWAZA,   the work of weapons according to AIKI principle which was only embryonic before the war.

TAKEMUSU is a manifestation of that will and the only Uchi Deshi who lived during that period was Master MORIHIRO SAITO who was born on 31 March in 1928 and passed away on 13 May in 2002.

The Aïkido Practice

What does Aïkido bring from a physical and mental perspective?

Most of this wonderful discipline lies in the mind, making it an artistic and spiritual practice. In fact, Aikido techniques are dissociated from any violent means. All enmity disappears to make room for an elegant and a worthy mastery.

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Opponents’ attacks are smoothly deflected, however, without energy being destroyed. Then the movement is driven to a position which removes any efficiency of the adversary.

At the top level of the practice, it is also controlling the mind of the adversary, at the initial source of his action.

Besides the techniques of bare hands, Aikido develops the BUKIWAZA in depth, the practice of sword and spear, traditional weapons of the Japanese aristocratic class of the Samurai.

From a self-defense perspective

Place the aggressor in a painful and non-functional position to stop his effectiveness. An effective control of body joints and nerve centers. Control of armed opponents.

Equipments for practice

Aikido is practiced in white KEIKO GI (judo jacket and trousers) and HAKAMA (Japanese traditional trousers – be worn after certain time of practice). A BOKKEN (wooden sword) and a JO (wooden spear) are also necessary for Aikido practices.

For moving from the dressing room and the dojo, the practitioners will  wear ZOORIS (sandals). A strict body hygiene is to be respected.