Morihei Ueshiba O’sensei, Founder of Aikido
Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed in the mid-1900’s by the extraordinary teacher Morihei Ueshiba, also known as Osensei. In possession of incredible martial abilities from many years of study in traditional jujitsu and other arts, Osensei was widely acknowledged to be immensely powerful and virtually invincible. A profoundly spiritual person, Osensei was deeply concerned by mankind’s destructive and violent path exemplified by World War II. Osensei transformed his art to be explicitly nonviolent and noncompetitive, with the goal of not only safely subduing physical attackers, but importantly, of achieving victory over one’s own inner conflicts and ignorance. Osensei went on to declare that the ultimate goal of Aikido is the “completion of all religion” and the development of global human potential. Hundreds of thousands of people in countries all around the world now practice Aikido diligently in pursuit of this very important vision.
Aikido teaches that effective self-defense requires intelligent action and precise movement. Force should only be used appropriate to developing circumstances. Although the techniques of Aikido can be devastatingly powerful, overall emphasis is on peaceful resolution of attack, and control of an attacker rather than destruction. This results in an extraordinarily wide range of responses available to meet aggression, based upon the philosophical, the psychological, and the technical aspect of Aikido, making it an ideal method of self-defense and self-discovery.
Formal practice of Aikido takes place in a dojo, where persons of all ages, wearing traditional practice clothing, train together in a harmonious atmosphere.
The beginning student is carefully led, step by step, through simple falling exercises, to more complicated ukemi (the art of falling). At the same time, students are introduced to simple and then progressively more complex techniques to neutralize attack. All classes are carefully supervised, making the Aikido dojo a positive, serious place to study the Way of Harmony.