About Aikido


Aikido is a traditional Japanese martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei) in the early 20th century. As the physical practice of philosophical principles developed by O-Sensei, Aikido strives for the ultimate goal of peaceful resolution rather than defeat. Composed of three Japanese characters: Ai, meaning harmony; Ki, spirit or energy; and Do, the path or the way, the word Aikido thus signifies the “Way of Unifying Life Energy”. In this regard, O-Sensei created a martial art in which the preservation of one’s attacker is equally important as one’s own self defense.

Aikido is more than the study of physical techniques; proper etiquette, attitude and behavior are also stressed. The basic movements of Aikido are circular in nature. The Aikidoist trains to harmonize with, rather than confront an aggressive line of force and converts it into a circular motion that renders attackers helpless. The Aikidoist trains to apply various wrist locks, arm pins or unbalancing throws to subdue and neutralize attackers without serious injury. Such practice is done in tandem with learning the art of falling, or “ukemi”, which trains the body and mind to receive such techniques in a safe manner.

Aikido is not a sport and hence there are no competitive tournaments. Rather, by cooperative training, the Aikidoist betters oneself without belittling others, without the intention of harm or fear of injury. As traditional Japanese budo, Aikido maintains the qualities of martial spirit, effective technique and intense training. This, coupled with the premise of mutual respect and caring, and the important balance between attacker and defender, encourages the spirit of O-Sensei’s desire for universal peace.

(Credit USAF)

Aikido History

1883 Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is born on December 14th in the present-day city of Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture.
1897 The Founder begins to study several traditional styles of Martial Arts.
1912 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.
1919 On his return home, While in Ayabe, Kyoto, the Founder makes the acquaintance of Mr. Onisaburo Deguchi, of the Omoto religious sect, and devotes himself to ascetic spiritual training.
1920 The Founder opens a training dojo called “Ueshiba-juku” at the foot of Hongu-cho, Ayabe in Kyoto Prefecture.
1921 Kisshomura Ueshiba (the second Doshu) is born in Ayabe, Kyoto Prefecture on June 27th.
1922 The Founder adresses “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.
1941 Plans to build an out door dojo in Iwama, Ibaraki Prefecture are created.
1942 The name “Aikido” is adopted. Kisshomaru Ueshiba is named the director of the headquarters.
1943 The Aiki Shrine is erected in Iwama, Ibaraki Prefecture.
1945 The Ibaraki Dojo is constructed in Iwama, Ibaraki Prefecture, as an adjunct facility of the Aiki Shrine.
1948 The Aikikai Foundation is officially recognized by the Ministry of Heath and Welfare (February 9th). Mr. Kenji Tomita becomes the Chairman of the Aikikai Foundation.
1949 Under the leadership of Kisshomaru Ueshiba, head of Hombu Dojo, a daily schedule of practice is begun.
1951 Moriteru Ueshiba (the current Doshu) is born in Tokyo on April 2nd.
1955 The first public Aikido demonstration is held on the roof of Takashiyama department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo.
1957 Kisshomaru Ueshiba releases his first book, Aikido.
1959 The first issue of the Aikido Newspaper (previously called Aiki) is published.
1960 The Founder receives the Medal with Purple Ribbon of Honor from the Japanese Government.
1961 The All-Japan Aikido University Federation is established (October).
1964 The Founder receives the award of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rossette.
1967 Kisshomaru Ueshiba becomes the Chairman of Aikikai Foundation.
1968 The newly built Aikido Hombu Dojo is completed (January). The Aikido Academy is approved by the Tokyo city government (July).
1969 The Founder passes away on April 26th at the age of 86. With the passing of the Founder, Kissshomaru Ueshiba assumes the title of Doshu.
1976 The All-Japan Aikido Federation is established (May). The first IAF congress is held at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo. It is attended by 400 delegates from 28 countries (October).
1977 The 15th Annual All-Japan Aikido Demonstration is held at the Nippon Budokan, with over 1000 participants (May 21). The Demonstration has been held at the Nippon Budokan every year since.
1986 Moriteru Ueshiba is named the head of Hombu Dojo. The IAF becomes an official member of the General Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF), (October). Kisshomaru Doshu receives the Medal of the Blue Ribbon of Honor from the Japanese Government (November).
1995 In recognition of his lifelong social contributions of spreading Aikido both domestically and internationally, Kisshomau Doshu receives the Third Order of the Sacred Treasure Award from the Japanese Government (April).
1996 Kisshomaru Doshu becomes the President of the Aikikai Foundation and Moriteru Ueshiba becames its Chairman (July 21st).
1999 Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba passes away on January 4th, at the age of 77. With the passing of Kisshomaru Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba assumes the title of Doshu (January 18th).
2002 The All-Japan High School Aikido Federation is established (May 25th) and the All-Japan High School Aikido Demonstration is held at the Tokyo Budokan (August).
2012 The Aikikai Foundation registers as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation (April).
2013 Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu receives the Medal with Blue Ribbon of Honor from the Emperor of Japan (November).

(Credit IAF)