O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba is known throughout the world as the founder of the martial art 'Aikido'. Born on 14 December 1883 in Tanabe, he died on 26 April 1969 at the age of 86. Many will only recognise his name or the portrait that, according to tradition, is placed on the place of honour in the dojo, the kamiza.
Morihei Ueshiba practised many defensive sports, including Jiujitsu, Judo, spear and sword fighting.
He was the best at everything, but still he was not satisfied. He did not want to fight to be strong. There had to be more to life. So he thought about it and realised that if you want to be good at martial arts, body and mind in harmony must be. Because if your body and mind are in harmony, you will feel the attack coming better. Morihei Ueshiba was not only shaped by martial arts, but also by politics, religion and war. His native region was a centre of very old tradition. As a child he already showed a great interest in the alternative and the Shinto way of thinking, which he later incorporated into Aikido.
When Morihei was 19, he married Hatsu. They later had three sons of which Kisshomaru is the most famous. Kisshomaru made Aikido accessible to everyone. (In the meantime, he too has sadly passed away.) During his military service, he kept himself busy with intensief bezig met krijgskunsten.
After the war, Morihei Ueshiba continued to develop as a budo grandmaster. He developed to such an extent that as a 'little man' who was no taller than 1.50 metres, he could easily overthrow a strong man. Morihei Ueshiba was very good at dealing with other people's energy as well as his own.
For example, there is a story that the famous boxing champion Horiguchi, "The piston" came to the dojo of the grandmaster. He wanted a match with Morihei Ueshiba. The grandmaster invited him to attack him with all his strength and ability. The boxer tried to hit the grandmaster on the chest with all his might and violence. Punches and blows came towards the grandmaster. Until suddenly the boxer's arms were hit from the outside with the grandmaster's hands. It was a flexible almost invisible movement. Horiguchi fell to the ground with two broken arms and spent another two months in hospital.
Morihei Ueshiba is a great example for people who practise Aikido, he has achieved a lot in his life and there is great respect for that. Because Morihei Ueshiba is so respected, he is also called O'Sensei, which in Japanese means 'great teacher'.
On the day Morihei Ueshiba died, the Japanese government offered him the 'Order of the Sacred Treasure', which was the highest honour he received for the realisation of Aikido
This is Morihei Ueshiba,
Founder of Aikido.
Morihei Ueshiba was very interested in the Shinto way of thinking.
O'sensei was very passionate about working with a Jo, the wooden stick.