Aikido Created by O'Sensei
Aikido has usually been described as being founded by Morihei Uyeshiba in the late 1930’s in Japan. However, Aiki goes back, like Yoga, to ancient times. What Morihei Uyeshiba – otherwise known as “O’Sensei” – did was bring it forth from obscurity and added ‘Do’ to the word Aiki.
“O’Sensei had single-mindedly trained in many arts and disciplines and was absorbed in many austerities such as retreating into nature for long periods of time, meditation under waterfalls, fasting and other practices in an effort to find the deeper truth of life through physical, mental and spiritual training. This is not unlike the journey Buddha went through before he became ‘The Buddha’. One meaning of the word ‘Buddha’ is ‘awakened one’. Before he became Awakened or Enlightened he was called Siddhartha and through the process of his intense training he became awakened to the essence and truth of life and hence was then called The Buddha’.
In the case of O’Sensei, after many years of training and purification, after a particularly strong practice one day he went to wash his body by a well and suddenly found himself rooted to the spot. In his own words, he felt his body transformed into a body of golden light. Tears of gratitude streamed down his face and he could understand the song of the birds, the movement of the wind. He understood that the true purpose of training was the realisation of love and oneness with the spirit of Nature and its life force.
From that realisation experience, he began to change and find a less intense approach to training. This is when Aikido as a modern art was born.