Aikido was developed and pioneered in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba, known to Aikido practitioners as O’Sensei (Great Teacher).

Morihei Ueshiba was born in Japan on the 14th December 1883.

Ueshiba studied many different styles of martial arts, but in particular he studied Budo. 

Ueshiba was very religious and tried to combine both his spiritual beliefs with his love for martial arts. It is said that Ueshiba felt that the spirit of Budo could not be found in its various forms but by trying to combine the practitioners energy with the various techniques. The practitioners inner energy is more commonly known as Ki. 

In 1927, Ueshiba opened a Dojo in Tokyo, with an increasing number of students keen to be instructed by him, but unfortunately due to the outbreak of the second World War, he lost a vast number of students to the Japanese armed forces. 

In 1942 Ueshiba left Tokyo, and settled in a small village of Iwama. Here O'Sensei completed the development of the martial art, combining both his philosophies and his love for the martial arts. He finally renamed the which he had been practicing as Aiki Jitsui to that of Aikido. He later built a shrine in which he recorded many of his philosophies whilst perfecting his techniques. Morihei Ueshiba died in 1969 at the grand age of 86. 

He has left a legacy that many people are following, and will continue to follow for many years

© The Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain 2016