Morihei Ueshiba

The founder of Aikido, Master Ueshiba Morihei, was born on December 14,1883. Living in the turbulent time of Japan's modernization, he dedicated himself to establishing a martial art that would meet the needs of contemporary people but would not be an anachronism. The following factors were at the core of Master Ueshiba's primary concerns: an abiding love for traditional martial arts, the care that it not be misunderstood and a deep wish to revive the spiritual quality of budo. He sought to achieve his goal through a relentless quest, given substance by constant training in the martial arts, for the truth of budo throughout the vicissitudes of modern Japenese history.

Ultimately, Master Ueshiba concluded that the true spirit of budo is not to be found in a competetive and combative atmosphere where brute strength dominates and victory at any cost is the paramount objective. He concluded that it is to be realised in the quest for perfection as a human being, both in mind and body, through cumulative training abd practise with kindred spirits in the martial arts. For him only such a true manisfestation of budo can have a raison d'etre in the modern world, and when that quality exists, it lies beyond any particular culture or age. His goal, deeply religious in nature, is summarized in a single statement: the unification of the fundamental creative principle, ki, permeating the universe, and the individual ki, inseparable from breath-power, of each person. Through constant training of mind and body, the individual ki harmonizes with the individual ki, and this unity appears in the dynamic, flowing movement of ki-power which is free and fluid, indestructable and invincible. This is the essence of Japanese martial arts as embodied in aikido.

Text taken from the book "The Spirit of Aikido", by Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

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