Aikido was founded in Japan in the early twentieth century by Master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). He is commonly referred to as O-Sensei (“Great Teacher”) by Aikido students.
O-Sensei dedicated his life to the study of martial arts. He sought out and studied under masters in many traditional martial arts and ultimately became an expert in a number of styles of jujutsu (unarmed combat), kenjutsu (fencing) and sojutsu (spear fighting). Although a formidable warrior he detested fighting, war and any kind of violence.
O-Sensei developed Aikido as an “Art of Peace”. He taught Aikido as a creative mind and body discipline, a practical means of of handling aggression and as a way of life that fosters fearlessness, wisdom and friendship.
O-Sensei continued to practise and refine his art right up until his death at the age of 86. His last public demonstration was only 4 months before he passed away.
In 1969 the Japanese Government declared Master Morihei Ueshiba a Sacred National Treasure of Japan.