Friday, April 5, 2019

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Budo (Japanese martial art), created during the early 20th century by O-Sensei Ueshiba Morihei (1883-1969), who had an extensive knowledge in martial arts and spirituality. After the Second World War, Aikido became one of the most popular martial arts in the world under the leadership of the Founder's son, the Second Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru (1921-1999). Today, the Third Doshu Ueshiba Moriteru (born in 1951), the grandson of the Founder, is the leader of the Aikido World Headquarters, the Aikikai Foundation and the world Aikido community.

The Aikikai Foundation-Aikido World Headquarters is the parent organization of Aikido. It is an officially recognized organization by the Japanese State. Under the leadership of Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu, the Aikikai Foundation develops and disseminates Aikido throughout the world, preserving the ideals of the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.

Aikido employs the training methods of the traditional Japanese martial arts within the context of modern society, and it stresses the spiritual development. Aikido is not a sport and as such, it has no competitions. It develops true strength by forging the mind and body. Its techniques are based on natural movements without undue stress on the body and thus men, women, young and old can practice it. The physical condition and power are improved through flexibility. Ki, a concept which becomes understood by sincere and constant practice, is central to Aikido. Ki and breath power (Kokyu-ryoku) are indivisible, the very being of Aikido and the movements are centered in the seikan tanden, the middle of the human body.  

Aikido Doshu

Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido Kaiso, the founder of Aikido

1883 Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is born on December 14th in the present-day city of Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture.

1908 The Founder receives a license in Goto Ha-Yagyu Ryu Jujutsu from Mr. Masanosuke Tsuboi.

1911 The Founder applies for invitation from the government to become a pioneer to Hokkaido. Leads a group of pioneers in migrating to Shirataki (now known as Engaru-cho), Monbetsu-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture.
The Founder meets Mr. Sokaku Takeda, the originator of Daito-ryu Jujutsu, at the Hisada Ryokan (inn) in Engaru, and asks for instruction.

1919 On his return home because of his father's critical condition, while in Ayabe (Kyoto Prefecture), the Founder makes the acquaintance of Mr. Onisaburo Deguchi, of the Omoto religious sect and devotes himself to ascetic spiritual training.
The Founder's father, Mr. Yoroku Ueshiba passes away.
The Founder opens a training dojo called "Ueshiba-juku" at the foot of Hongu, Ayabe.

1922 The Founder addresses "Aiki" as the essence of the Martial Arts, due to his development of the mind coupled with spiritual practices.

1927 The Founder comes to Tokyo with his family and begins teaching Martial Arts in Shirogane-Sarumachi, Shiba. His main activities move to Tokyo.

1931 The Kobukan Dojo is established in present-day Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku.

1940 The Kobukai Foundation, with Mr. Isamu Takeshita as its first president, is officially recognized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan.

1941 Plans to build an outdoor dojo in Iwama, Ibaraki Prefecture are created.

1955 The Founder starts to promote the development of Aikido in Japan and abroad.

1960 The Founder receives the Medal with Purple Ribbon of Honor from the Japanese Government.

1964 The Founder receives the award of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

1969 The Founder passes away on April 26th at the age of 86. He receives the award of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, and the rank of Sho-Goi (fifth rank in the imperial court) posthumously.

Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Aikido Second Doshu

1921 Born on June 27th, in Ayabe.

1946 Graduates from Waseda University, Faculty of Economics and Political Science.

1948 Named the Director of Hombu Dojo and creates the infrastructure of the current organization.

1967 Appointed the Chairman of Aikikai Foundation.

1969 With the passing of the Founder, Kisshomaru Ueshiba assumes the title of Doshu.

1986 He is named the head of Hombu Dojo. In recognition of his contributions to the public good through the development and growth of Aikido, Kisshomaru Doshu receives the Medal with Blue Ribbon of Honor from the Japanese Government.

1995 Receives the Third Order of the Sacred Treasure Award from Japanese Government.

1996 Appointed Aikikai Foundation Chairman. He also holds many other important positions in the field, International Aikido Federation's President, National Student Aikido Federation's President and Nippon Budokan Foundation's President.

1999 Passes away on January 4th, at the age of 77.
Receives the Court Rank of Fifth Grade Senior posthumously from Japanese Government.

Moriteru Ueshiba, Aikido Third Doshu

1951 Born on April 2nd, in Tokyo.

1976 Graduates from Meiji Gakuin University, Faculty of Economics.

1985 Appointed the Executive Director of Aikikai Foundation.

1996 Becomes the Chairman of Aikikai Foundation.

1999 Assumes the title of Aikido Doshu.

2006 Awarded the Anshetta Medal of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Appointed Honorary Associate Professor of International Budo University.

2009 Awarded the Order of Friendship from the President of Russia.

2010 Appointed Professor of special invitation by Kogakkan University.

2012 Appointed Chairman of the Aikikai Public Interest Incorporated Foundation after the transition from Aikikai Foundation.
Awarded the Gold Medal of Valencia Polytechnic University in Spain.

2013 Receives the Medal with Blue Ribbon of Honor from the Emperor of Japan.