- Aikido is a martial art that trains body and mind mastery.
- Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Historically, it is said that it was created as a clear form of training around 1920, but it was continually developed until the founder’s death. Ueshiba had backgrounds from several traditional Japanese martial arts and reached master level in several of them.
- Ueshiba’s daito ryu aikijutsu training under Sokaku Takeda (1859-1943) is probably the strongest influence on aikido. He also studied other schools that specialized in the use of swords and spears as well as unarmed forms. He was also a soldier and bodyguard. For almost his entire life he also devoted time to spiritual development and was significantly influenced by the Omoto kyo movement led by Onasaburo Degushi (1871-1948).
- All training that goes in depth leads to a skill, and training with others to further deepen the skill leads to organized training. If you want to learn something properly, you go to someone with a mastery of the skill. Then a training place, a dojo, is needed to grow the skill. The dojo becomes a school where the skill is practiced and deepened, and thus developed as a “product”, the art that is trained. It is important that what we train becomes a skill that sustains quality. It’s like when a craftsman does a good job: they are able to get more work and they earn respect for the work they do. A good craftsman is never fully trained, they just get better and better! And they often also do this with other people around. Some of the same values that the Scandinavian craftsmen have.
- Ueshiba must have had a very high skill and development as a human being since so many who train today were strongly inspired, have developed great skill, and continue training for life. Ueshiba started several training places where the martial arts were practiced under supervision. It is a great skill to lead together with other people, to lead them to a skill, and at the same time have clear values and etiquette so that this develops one as a human being in a society. Ueshiba moved to Tokyo in 1927. There he rented houses as temporary dojos for his training. They were crowded. That says a lot about Ueshiba’s character.
- Many people who trained the art, including some with higher social position, helped Ueshiba to build a dedicated Aikido Dojo in 1931. Now, after several renovations, this is a five store house and is the main center for Aikido in the world: Honbu Dojo. From there came many good teachers with skills who have spread to 140 countries. These skills are now being studied in many Dojos, including in Norway.
- The Aikikai foundation is led today by the grandson of Ueshiba’s current Doshu, Ueshiba Moriteru.
The International Aikido Federation
The Aikikai Foundation
Aikido Kobayashi Dojo