The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, was born in Japan on December 14, 1883. As a child, he often witnessed local thugs hitting his father for political reasons. He set out to make himself strong so that he can get revenge. He devoted himself to inurnment and finally the learning of martial arts, receiving Master certificates on various forms of jujitsu, fencing and spear fighting.
Despite the impressive physical and combat ability he possessed, he felt very unhappy. He began delving into religions, hoping to find a deeper meaning in life, while all the while he kept chasing studies in budo, or martial arts in general. Combining his militant education with his religious and political ideology, he created the modern martial art of Aikido. He first named it «Aikido» in 1942 (earlier he called it the martial art of «aikibudo» and «aikinomichi»).
From a technical point, Aikido is rooted in several styles of jujitsu (from which also the modern judo is derived) and martial arts using the sword and spear. However, we must also emphasize that many Aikido techniques are the result of Master Ueshiba’s innovation.
At the core of almost all philosophical interpretations of Aikido, however, we can identify at least two key elements: (1) A commitment to peaceful resolution of conflicts whenever possible. (2) A commitment to self-improvement.