Morihei Ueshiba
Founder of Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, was born in the town of Tanabe, Japan, on 14 December, 1883.
He studied various styles of Ju-Jutsu; above all, he took classes from Sokaku Takeda, the famous master of Daitō-ryū (one of the styles of Ju-Jutsu).
He also progressed significantly in the art of mastering the sword. Already as a grown-up, Ueshiba got acquainted with the founder of Ōmoto-kyō religion which was new at that time. According to Ōmoto-kyō, peace and harmony in the world could be achieved only through tolerance and love of man. Ueshiba took a great interest in that religion and started dedicating long time to prayer and meditation. Meanwhile he would continue refining his skills in martial arts.
Soon the combination of martial practice and religious ideology gave birth to a new martial art which founder Ueshiba called “Aikido”. Aikido is literally translated as follows: “ai” – harmony, love; “ki” – spiritual power; “do” – way. From the technical point of view, this new art borrowed a lot from Ju-Jutsu, as well as from the art of mastering the sword, while its philosophical orientation was rooted in the idea of striving for harmony with the world through harmonising the body and spirit.
In 1940, the Japanese government officially recognised Aikido. Morihei Ueshiba taught the art until the end of his life. He passed in 1969, at the age of 86. After his death, the school came to be headed by his son Kissomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999). Today the school is headed by the grandson of the founder, Moriteru Ueshiba.