Morihei Ueshiba – The Founder of Aikido
Salepage : Morihei Ueshiba – The Founder of Aikido
Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, was born in the fishing and agricultural hamlet of Tanabe, Japan, in 1883. He was the sole surviving son of an affluent father and a sophisticated mother who saw him as a divine gift. His preterm birth hampered his physical development; even when fully grown, he stood no taller than 5 feet.
Yoroku Ueshiba, his father, felt concerned about his son’s thin and frail body and urged him to participate in sumo wrestling, swimming, and jogging. The child began to discover his physical potential as he advanced in athletics.
Other than mathematics and physics, classroom studies piqued Morihei Ueshiba’s attention. Instead, he desired to study Buddhist monks’ meditation, chanting, and holy procedures.
Morihei Ueshiba had a restless spirit in his youth, dashing from one career to the next, readily executing his tasks but finding no challenge in them. He was drawn to the martial arts at the age of 18, and they continued to amuse and nourish him until his death.
Morihei Ueshiba Learns Jujutsu
Morihei Ueshiba left his first and second employment because they were too restrictive. His councilman father lost patience when he became actively involved in assisting local fisherman in their struggle against an onerous new legislation. He handed his kid money and advised him to pick a job that would fit him.
Morihei Ueshiba had extreme ennui after working as a shopkeeper in Tokyo, and he contracted beriberi as a result of his bad diet. Despite the fact that he returned home with empty pockets, he was able to persuade his father that he had enjoyed the martial art of jujutsu.
Morihei Ueshiba married Hatsu Itogawa in 1902, although nothing is known about her. He was asked to service in Japan’s military forces a year later but was denied down because he was one-half inch too short. The motivated young guy then hid in the mountains and exercised fiercely, hanging from branches with weights on his feet at times. The next year, he was admitted into the infantry and participated in the Russo-Japanese War.
The War and Morihei Ueshiba
Morihei Ueshiba’s 18-month term of service is little known, save that he was complimented by his superiors, who urged that he make the army his profession. Morihei Ueshiba, on the other hand, preferred to return to civilian life.
The war ended in 1905, but Morihei Ueshiba was sick and despondent as a result of the brutal combat and innocent bloodshed on both sides. Throughout his early and middle years, these bouts of sickness appeared to overtake him whenever suffering in the globe, particularly in Japan, grew.
In 1910, Morihei Ueshiba’s emotions were brightened when a baby girl arrived at the Ueshiba home. Later, three sons were born, but only one, Kishomaru, lived to succeed his father as an aikido master.
Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Roots of Aikido
Aikido is supposed to have evolved from daito-ryu aikijujutsu, which was developed by Prince Teijun (850-880), the sixth son of Emperor Seiwa. Certain components of daito-ryu aikijujutsu were still being passed down as the Takeda house’s hidden art, and were only known to members and retainers of that family. Sokaku Takeda, a daito-ryu aikijujutsu practitioner, visited Hokkaido in 1915 and met Morihei Ueshiba, but their friendship was marred by jealously and ill will. Morihei Ueshiba, on the other hand, was able to obtain certification in daito-ryu aikijujutsu from Sokaku Takeda.
Morihei Ueshiba devised around 200 self-defense forms as a young man, some of which he learnt from Takeda. In 1922, he founded his own aikijujutsu style, dubbed aiki bujutsu. He eventually utilized it as a foundation for developing his own martial art. Morihei Ueshiba visited China twice to study Chinese martial techniques, which he incorporated into his aiki bujutsu. Experts have seen parallels between the internal teachings of tai chi chuan and pa kua chang.
Ki Power and Aikido
Morihei Ueshiba titled his art aiki budo in 1936, and by 1942, he had developed a mature, modified technique that was now officially known as aikido. The new name is a mash-up of three distinct concepts: ai means harmony, ki represents spirit or energy, and do signifies discipline. The teacher also included aspects of other old martial arts, including as swordsmanship and kito-ryu jujutsu, as well as his own martial arts methods. The emphasis was always on employing ki to strengthen one’s strength.
Morihei Ueshiba forbade his pupils from imitating his motions and patterns in his classes. Instead, he wanted them to rehearse a form until it became a part of them. “Learn and forget,” he said. “Before moving on, make the method a part of your body.”
Morihei Ueshiba honed his self-defense skills via aikido. He had the ability to take down and pin opponents significantly larger in stature. He could toss a dozen guys at once. He directed his pupils to ambush him from eight different directions, and he deftly controlled them to his advantage while his feet remained within a circle that barely encircled them.
Morihei Ueshiba reportedly challenged four guys to lift him in front of television cameras. Morihei Ueshiba’s down-turned ki held him immovable no matter how hard they tugged.
Morihei Ueshiba wanted to illustrate the optimistic attitude that ki develops another time. He informed an audience that he could will himself to be two-thirds the weight of his own body. Twenty tea cups were set in a circle and filled with tea. He moved around the circle of cups, stepping up on the rim of the first teacup. When the circle was finished, not a drop of tea had been spilled, and not a single fragile cup had been shattered.
Morihei Ueshiba died of liver cancer in 1969, after suffering from illness for most of his life. He was 86. “Aikido has no end,” he declared before passing away. “This is only the beginning, and there will be more growth.” The inventor of aikido may have died, but his craft lives on across the world.
(Jean Schaefer is a Washington-based freelance writer.)