History of Aikido
A brief history by Three Streams Aikido School of Aikido, Aiki Jujutsu and Self Defense
Dojo Cho Sensei Vladimir Soroka
Aikido is a relatively new Japanese Martial Art developed in the early part of the 20th century by “O-Sensei” Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). However, its beginnings are rooted in the unarmed combat systems used by the ancient Samurai and date back to the 12th century. Ueshiba devoted himself to hard physical conditioning and eventually to the practice of martial arts from early years of his life, receiving certificates of mastery in several styles of jujitsu, fencing, and spear fighting. In spite of his impressive physical and martial capabilities he wasn’t satisfied. Morihei Ueshiba met Sokaku Takeda, Grandmaster of Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujutsu, during his time in Hokkaido sometime between 1905 and 1912. He was so impressed, that became one of Takeda’s students and subsequently became one of his most famous and talented disciples.
Two people had the biggest influence on Morihei Ueshiba: his teacher in Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujutsu Grandmaster Sokaku Takeda and spiritual leader of Omoto Religion Sect Onisaburo Deguchi.
In 1925, Ueshiba organized his own style of Aikijujutsu, one that was more in line with his own needs for spiritual and physical development. During the next decade, Ueshiba’s students (Shioda, Tomiki, Mochizuki, and others) were active in building a foundation for present-day Aikido. Ueshiba decided on the name “Aikido” in 1942 (before that he called his martial art “aikibudo” and “aikinomichi”). After the war, Aikido grew rapidly at the Kobukan (now called Hombu Dojo) under the direction of Kisshomaru Ueshiba (son of O’Sensei) Morihei Ueshiba had become famous as “O’Sensei” or “The Grand Teacher,” the Master of Aikido.
Many students who trained under O Sensei decided to spread their knowledge of Aikido by opening their own dojos. Due, among other things, to the dynamic nature of Aikido, different students of O Sensei interpreted his Aikido in different ways.
In physical terms Aikido uses throws, locks, chokes, immobilizations and atemi (strikes to the vital points of the body), although the true secrets of Aikido are found in the subtle yet precise timing and blending that translates into very powerful martial techniques.
In great contrast to the most of other martial arts, Aikido places little emphasis on punching and kicking. Instead, Aikido relies heavily on precisely timed body movement, which allows one to evade the attacker, harmonize and blend with his/her energy, and gain control over the situation.
There are many benefits that one can acquire from Aikido. As a path of self-development, Aikido leads towards the integration of mind, body, and spirit – towards making us complete human beings, which not only benefits us, but benefits the people around us. Physically and psychologically, Aikido is at the same time very complex and yet very simple. The changes it can make in our lives begin at the surface and go as deep as we let it.
The physical benefits of Aikido practice include increased balance, coordination, reaction, and sense of timing; improved posture, flexibility and aerobic conditioning; a greater awareness of our bodies and how we express ourselves through our bodies; and a more relaxed and confident presence.
Mental benefits include this increased self-awareness and relaxation; better ability to resolve conflicts and deal with stressful situations in a calmer and more positive manner; greater self-confidence and self-discipline; and the constant challenge of self-development and learning new skills.
Spiritual benefits include being able to improve one’s own quality of living; to break or change old habits and conditioning; to see things with greater clarity and perceptive; and to have a greater intuitive understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
Tenshin – Complex characteristic of style with a lot of twisting, dodging movements, changing directions and complex timings. It is not quite considered to be unique to the style in both name and form, even though has definite specifics..
The Aikikai is the common name for the style headed by Moriteru Ueshiba, as taught under the auspices of the International Aikido Federation. It is even more of an umbrella than a specific style, since it seems that many individuals within the organization teach in quite a different manner.
Aikido taught at Three Streams Aikido is emphasizing self-defense applications. Not to get struck, not to get grabbed, and not to be taken down — these are the main emphasis of training. Classes are taught in a non-competitive and cooperative manner. All this is what makes Aikido unlike the kicking, punching, and blocking of Karate or wrestling aspects of Judo. Arm and leg immobilizations, pressure points, and deflections are emphasized in our training, making Aikido available to anyone interested in training in the Martial Arts and personal development.