Archives for 2013

Happy Holidays

Each year I look forward to December, mostly because of my dojo’s holiday seminar.  The mat is always full of New York Aikikai members, both old and new, as well as so many visitors who come to celebrate aikido and friendship.  I am happy to be home at this time surrounded by people enjoying themselves.  It’s always a good weekend for me.

As you may know, there are some recent changes in the USAF Board of Directors. Many board members dedicated several years of their time and put in a lot of hard work for the USAF.  We are thankful for their service and all they did. But it is also important to be open to change and allow others to have a chance to dedicate them selves.   As of November, the board has a new Vice President (Andy Demko), Chairman (Joe Nemeth), Treasurer (Paul Forhan) and Secretary (Larry Bieri).

Looking forward, 2014 will be a very busy year for me.  I will travel to dojos all over the world celebrating the 50th anniversary of my arrival in NY. I hope you will join me on the mat, as I continue to do what I came here to do half a century ago – spread aikido.  Happy holidays to all of you.

The Essence of Yamada Sensei

The Essence of Yamada Sensei is a short film of Yamada Sensei teaching at the 2013 USAF Winter Camp, November 8-9-10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Filmed/Edited/Produced by Jonathan Weiner, 3rd Dan, Fukushidoin of Aikido of Charlotte.  To view, click here

To view similar videos produced by Jonathan Weiner,  click here

Aikido of Amarillo Conducts Its First Seminar

Aikido of Amarillo recently hosted its first seminar with T. K. Lee Sensei, 6th DAN from Aikido of Houston. The seminar allowed the students to gain instruction based on Lee Sensei’s 53 years of Aikido experience.

“We struggle with the same challenges every dojo has which operates out of a small, isolated community,” Scott Sensei explains. “Our dojo continues to build its core student base and this seminar offers the opportunity to see an instructor with over 50 years of training. For Lee Sensei to travel to Amarillo and teach us is a very special event.”

During the seminar Lee Sensei described the importance of dynamic body movement. He took the students through each movement step-by-step to emphasize a proper foundation. Points of teaching were to start a waza with strong beginning stance, execute large body movements leading to the application of the waza and then finish with solid stance. Lee Sensei’s teachings of a strong foundation relate to the Founder’s statement, ”In extreme situations, the entire universe becomes our foe; at such critical times, unity of mind and technique is essential – do not let your heart waver!”

Aikido of Amarillo has been in existence since 2005. This year’s Aikido seminar marks the initiation for future dojo events. Dojo-cho, Scott DeJesse, 3rd DAN is a direct student of Lee Sensei. Scott described the seminar as a proud moment for the dojo. The dojo was also happy to have the Midwest Aikido Federation affiliated dojo of Lubbock Aikido participate the Amarillo’s first seminar.

Scott states, “Without the support of T. K. Lee Sensei, the USAF and Amarillo College, there wouldn’t be an opportunity for the Amarillo community to train in the traditional style of Aikido. The Art is a true gift with many benefits for one’s mind, body and spirit. We look forward to the future and will continue to grow the dojo.”

Technical Committee Dan Testing Workshop at Winter Camp

During the November 2013 Florida Aikikai Winter Seminar, the USAF Technical Committee presented a workshop on dan testing. Anyone who is preparing for a dan test should find this video a valuable resource. Florida Aikikai is happy to share what we have learned. Thank you. See you next year! Penny Bernath

https://vimeo.com/79364763

USAF Governance

 (effective 1/1/2016)

 

Chief Instructor and Technical Director of the USAF:

Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan


New York Aikikai
 www.nyaikikai.com

In 1955, at the age of 18, Yamada Sensei was accepted in the Hombu Dojo uchi-deshi program (live-in apprentice) to study directly with O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido. In addition to O-Sensei, he also studied under Kissomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei and Kisaburo Osawa.  An invitation to demonstrate Aikido at the 1964 World’s Fair brought Yamada Sensei to New York City. He stayed on to become Chief Instructor at the New York Aikikai. By 1972 he already assumed his role as Aikido ambassador to the world at large, introducing his vigorous, inspiring and joyful teaching style to thousands of appreciative students on practically every continent.

 

Technical Committee:

The Technical Committee is comprised of a select number of USAF Shihan (master instructor certified through Doshu, Hombu Dojo) who have dedicated their lives to the practice and instruction of Aikido. They are responsible for overseeing that the technical standards of the USAF are upheld, and are regularly invited to instruct Aikido seminars around the world.

Chairman:  Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

(see above)

Seiichi Sugano Shihan, Hachidan, 8th dan In Memorium
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

Born in 1939 in Otaru, Hokkaido, Sugano Sensei had been studying judo for six years when he read about Aikido in a magazine and went to Hombu Dojo in 1957 to begin his training. After about a year, he entered the uchi deshi program. In 1965, he moved to Australia, staying for thirteen years and establishing a strong base of Aikido practitioners. He then moved to Belgium, and began teaching throughout Europe before coming to New York City and the New York Aikikai in the late 80’s. Like his friend and colleague, Yamada Sensei, Sugano Sensei travels the world regularly, teaching Aikido and inspiring his students.

Sugano Sensei passed away on August 29, 2010.

Harvey Konigsberg Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Woodstock Aikido
www.woodstockaikido.com

Konigsberg Sensei is Chief Instructor of Woodstock Aikido. He began practicing Aikido in 1965. He was one of the original students of Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai in Manhattan. Konigsberg Sensei continues to teach regularly at the New York Aikikai as well as seminars throughout the US, Europe and Latin America. In addition to being one of the foremost Aikidoists in the US, Konigsberg Sensei is a renowned painter whose works have been shown throughout the world.

Claude Berthiaume Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido de la Montagne
www.aikidodelamontagne.com

Berthiaume Sensei began practicing Aikido at the age of 17 under the direction of René Gauvin. When Gauvin Sensei retired in 1972, Berthiaume Sensei joined the Montreal Aikikai, directed by Massimo Di Villadorata. In 1974, he obtained his black belt and became the first Aikido instructor of the Service Des Sports at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he was finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. As a student he was a close disciple of the late Kanai Sensei and a student of Yamada Sensei. He has traveled extensively in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, South America and various European countries, attending over twenty seminars every year. In 1988, Berthiaume Sensei became the chief instructor of Aikido de la Montagne. He continues to lead seminars regularly throughout the US, Canada and Europe. In addition, Sensei Berthiaume holds the rank of 6th dan in Iaido and is Technical Director of the Kiyoikaze Association.

Peter Bernath Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Florida Aikikai
www.floridaaikikai.com

Chief instructor of Florida Aikikai, Bernath Sensei also holds a Shodan in Iaido. Bernath Sensei started his Aikido career in 1972 under the direction of Yamada Sensei, and was an instructor at New York Aikikai prior to being sent by Yamada Sensei to open Florida Aikikai in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bernath Sensei has traveled extensively throughout the world including Europe and Japan, and has been fortunate to study under many of O-sensei’s most famous disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu (leader of Aikido). Bernath Sensei is one of the most highly respected Aikido instructors in the United States and regularly teaches seminars throughout the USAF, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Donovan Waite Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido of Greater Philadelphia
www.aikidogreaterphila.com

Waite Sensei started practicing Aikido in 1969 in Birmingham, England and received his 1st dan when he was 14. In 1984 he moved to New York City to be an “uchi deshi” or live in student, under Yamada Sensei at the New York Aikikai. Since 1997 Waite Sensei has been the chief instructor of Aikido of Center City in Philadelphia. He still teaches regularly at the New York Aikikai. Waite Sensei travels extensively throughout the world teaching Aikido. He has conducted seminars in North, Central, & South America, Europe, Russia, the Middle East, & Southeast Asia.

Andy Demko Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Aikido of New Castle
www.aikidoncpa.com

Demko Sensei started Aikido in 1966 in Youngstown, Ohio with Peter Takach and Charles Cycyk. They were pioneers of the art in the 60’s and learned Aikido from a book. Demko Sensei met Yamada Sensei in 1966 and became his student. He established New Castle Aikikai in 1971. Through Yamada Sensei, Demko Sensei has met and trained with many of O-sensei’s direct students including Koichi Tohei Sensei, the second and third Doshu, Saito Sensei, Kanai Sensei, Chiba Sensei, and Sugano Sensei. Demko Sensei has been a member of the USAF since it its beginning and served as a member of the Board of Governors until he was appointed to the Technical Committee. He teaches actively throughout the East Coast and Midwest and conducts seminars within the USAF.

Robert Zimmermann Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
Toronto Aikikai
www.torontoaikikai.com

Zimmermann Sensei was a direct student of Mitsunari Kanai Sensei until his passing in 2004, and he continues to study with Yamada Sensei. Zimmermann Sensei, also a nidan in iaido, began practicing Aikido in 1967 at the age of 13 in his native Uruguay. He moved to Canada in 1974, and became Chief Instructor of Toronto Aikikai in 1983. Zimmermann Sensei has trained and taught at seminars and training camps in Canada, the United States, Japan, Mexico, Central and South America, Israel and Europe.

Steve Pimsler Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan
New York Aikikai
www.nyaikikai.com

Steve Pimsler Sensei started aikido at New York Aikikai in 1974, later becoming an uchi-deshi for four years, during which he travelled with Yamada Sensei as “otomo” (traveling apprentice). Pimsler Sensei assisted Yamada Sensei in setting up the United States Aikido Federation and served as its first treasurer. He also co-authored Yamada Sensei’s book, Ultimate Aikido.

Pimsler Sensei began teaching at the New York Aikikai in 1978, and continues to bring discipline and intensive energy to the mat. Alongside Yamada Sensei, he also teaches the special bi-monthly beginner’s classes, conveying fundamentals with distinctive clarity. When not at the dojo, he helps run a small advertising agency in the city. And when not at either place, he’s at home with his wife Cheryl (they met at the dojo, she holds the rank of nidan) and two giants, Sam and Ari, who claim to be his sons.

effective 2/1/2017

Board of Directors:

ChairmanJoseph Nemeth Shihan, Rokudan, 6th dan
 

Aikido of Nassau County
 www.aikido4nassaucounty.com

Joe Nemeth Sensei began his study of Aikido and Judo in 1960. He trained in Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo Japan and achieved the rank of 3rd dan before focusing exclusively on Aikido in 1974. Nemeth Sensei has also trained in Aikido at Hombu Dojo in Japan. With more than 40 years of martial arts experience, he continues to train actively with many of the top Aikido instructors in the United States, especially Yamada Sensei.

Treasurer
: Julia Freedgood Shidoin, Godan, 6th dan

Valley Aikido  www.valleyaikido.org

Freedgood sensei began Aikido in 1982 at Amherst Aikikai, under P. Sylvain and L. Dianne, direct students of Chiba Sensei. She studied under Kanai Sensei from 1984 – 1988 and, thanks to the USAF, over the years has had the opportunity to meet and learn from many of O-sensei’s direct students including Chiba Sensei, Shibata Sensei, Sugano Sensei, Tohei Sensei, and the second and third Doshu. She helped Sylvain Sensei found Valley Aikido in 1985 and assumed its leadership upon his death in 1996. Now a student of Yamada Sensei, she serves as Dojo Cho of Valley Aikido in Northampton MA.

Secretary:  Christine Wong Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan


Aikido of Santa Barbara
 www.aikidoofsantabarbara.org

Christine Wong Sensei is Chief Instructor of Aikido of Santa Barbara. She started Aikido in 1985 under the late Kensho Furuya in Los Angeles, California. After moving to Santa Barbara in 1998, she studied with the founders of Aikido of Santa Barbara, Geraldine Tremblay Sensei and Bill Staub Sensei until they moved to Hawaii. She has studied extensively with the late Mitsunari Kanai and continues to study with Yamada Shihan.

Honorary Member: Michael Abrams Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan


New York Aikikai
 www.nyaikikai.com

Mike Abrams Sensei played a major role in the development of the New York Aikikai. He started training in New York City in 1964 and has trained, traveled and taught seminars around the world and has been fortunate enough to have attended classes taught by O -Sensei. Abrams Sensei is Chairman Emeritus of the United States Aikido Federation and remains a trusted Advisor.

(In alphabetical order)

Peter Bernath Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan

Florida Aikikai  www.floridaaikikai.com

Chief instructor of Florida Aikikai, Bernath Sensei also holds a Shodan in Iaido. Bernath Sensei started his Aikido career in 1972 under the direction of Yamada Sensei, and was an instructor at New York Aikikai prior to being sent by Yamada Sensei to open Florida Aikikai in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bernath Sensei has traveled extensively throughout the world including Europe and Japan, and has been fortunate to study under many of O-sensei’s most famous disciples, including Kisshomaru and Moriteru Ueshiba, the second and third Doshu (leader of Aikido). Bernath Sensei is one of the most highly respected Aikido instructors in the United States and regularly teaches seminars throughout the USAF, Canada, Latin America and Europe; he is also a member of the USAF Technical Committee.

 

Claude Berthiaume Shihan, Nanadan, 7th dan

Aikido de la Montagne  www.aikidodelamontagne.com

Berthiaume Sensei began practicing Aikido at the age of 17 under the direction of René Gauvin. When Gauvin Sensei retired in 1972, Berthiaume Sensei joined the Montreal Aikikai, directed by Massimo Di Villadorata. In 1974, he obtained his black belt and became the first Aikido instructor of the Service Des Sports at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he was finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. As a student he was a close disciple of the late Kanai Sensei and a student of Yamada Sensei. He has traveled extensively in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, South America and various European countries, attending over twenty seminars every year. In 1988, Berthiaume Sensei became the chief instructor of Aikido de la Montagne. He continues to lead seminars regularly throughout the US, Canada and Europe. In addition, Sensei Berthiaume holds the rank of 6th dan in Iaido and is Technical Director of the Kiyoikaze Association and is a member of the USAF Technical Committee.

 

Ray Farinato Shihan, Rokudan, 6th dan

Aikido of Fairfield County  
www.aikidofc.com

Ray Farinato, holds a 6th degree black belt in Aikido and is certified as a Shihan (Master Teacher) by the United States Aikido Federation. He has trained in Aikido since 1973 and has been fortunate to study with many Aikido masters in the United States and in Japan

 

Paul Forhan Shidoin, Godan, 5th dan

Aikido of El Paso 
www.aikidoofelpaso.org

Paul Forhan Sensei began studying marital arts in 1965 and training in Aikido in 1990. Paul’s close association with New York Aikikai began in 1990, where he lived at the dojo part time and regularly regularly under Yamada Sensei. Paul travels worldwide to attend numerous seminars with various Shihan.

 

Blue Spruell Shidoin,  Godan, 5th dan

Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta  www.peachtreeaikikai.com

Blue Spruell Sensei is Chief Instructor of Peachtree Aikikai Atlanta.  He began his Aikido training under Masahiro Okada Shihan and Katsuya Nakamura Shihan in 1988 in Japan, where he lived and trained for five years before returning to Atlanta to co-found his first dojo, Dogwood Aikikai.  He has traveled extensively to train under Mitsunari Kanai Shihan and continues to train under Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan.  He also holds 5th dan rank in Kyudo as well as Iaido and is a board member of Kiyoikaze Iaido Federation.  Off the mat, Spruell Sensei is a trial lawyer and certified mediator, specializing in civil and domestic litigation: www.outlawfirm.com.  He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

 

 

Heaven and Earth Dojo News

Heaven and Earth dojo supported a 5K race to assist wounded warriors on October 5th in McLean.  “Since 2003, thousands of young men and women have been wounded in the line of duty. After discharge from inpatient treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, they continue on active duty while going through a very thorough evaluation period.  At this point in their recovery, many wounded warriors seek housing which is suited to their rehabilitation needs. All proceeds from the McLean 5K Run with the Warriors will be used for the Wounded Warrior Transitional Housing at Vinson Hall.” (http://www.mclean5k.com/)

The dojo received almost 200 dollars in donations for the Hand-to-Hand program. The dojo had been looking for a worthy charity and the Run with the Warriors was a good one.  The dojo made a 500 dollar donation toward the event.  If anyone would like to make donations toward covering the 300 dollars the dojo is giving please feel free.

In addition Heaven and Earth dojo held the stretching for the runners before the race. There were about 1500 runners and about 5-10,000 spectators and it was carried on local and national TV.

Hand-to-Hand: Heaven and Earth dojo was constructed to continue the legacy of Yamada and Sugano Sensei’s Aikido as was taught by O Sensei.  That legacy is realized by taking the philosophy of Aikido from the mat and putting it into practice in life.  Sugano Sensei taught that Aikido must be a positive force for change in the world, and to make that real he asked his students to contribute to charitable causes. The Monday night Hand-to-Hand course was set up for this purpose.  Originally it was done to assist wounded veterans but it was opened up to anyone who has a disability or is in need. Currently, the dojo is working with a Marine Corps veteran who was wounded in Afghanistan.  Anyone who might possibly have someone with a limitation who wants to try Aikido, please consider this class.

Non Profit:  Heaven and Earth is in the process of becoming a non-profit organization.  This will assist with the Hand-to-Hand class, and other charitable efforts.  The not-for-profit status will make it a community that fits with the spirit and intention of the dojo.  Thanks to Kyle Cormack for setting this up.

 

 

2012 New USAF Dojo

The USAF would like to welcome the following new member dojo:

(updated 12/31/2012)

2012:

Aikido of South West Florida

Chief Instructor: C. Barry Benjamin

360 Santa Barbara Blvd Cape Coral FL
Cape Coral, FL 33910

www.aikidoofsouthwestflorida.com

 

Dairyukai Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Fabio Chirinos

5733 Sherbrooke West
Montreal, Quebec H4A 1W9

www.dairyukai.com

 

Mount Saint Vincent Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Fraser Graham

C/O Fitness Center, Mount St Vincent University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3M 2J6

 

Myoho Aikido Vermont

Chief Instructor: Wassim Nehme

183 Park Street, Middle Barn
N. Bennington, VT 05257

 

Notting Hill Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Antheas

95 Lancaster Rd
London, United Kingdom WAA 1QQ

www.nottinghillaikikai.co.uk

 

Oak Hill Aikido

Chief Instructor: Michelle Ruschhaupt

8404 Candelaria Drive
Austin, TX 78737

 

Providence Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Paul Sheedy and Wayne Sherman

545 Pawtucket Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860

www.aikidoprovidence.com

 

Water’s Edge Aikikai

Chief Instructor: Meg Bower

1117 State Rt. 3 North Woong’s Taekwondo Center
Ganbrills, MD 21054

 

Albany Aikido Celebrates Irvin Faust Sensei’s Shihan Certification

Albany Aikido was pleased to have Shihan David Halprin conduct a one day seminar in celebration of Sensei Irvin Faust being promoted to Shihan. David Sensei taught wonderful and inspiring classes. A good time was had by all. Students came from  Long Island, New Jersey,  Boston, Vermont, Brasher Falls and Montreal. Thanks to all and a special thank you to the wonderful dojo members.

In addition to the seminar, R. Vincente Rubio prepared the following statement to commemorate Irv Faust’s Shihan certification:

“I started aikido in 1977 with Sensei Luqman at Long Island University. I took all my exams from 5th kyu to San-dan under Yamada Sensei. I moved to Albany in 1985 and started my own dojo.” – Humbly and simply put by Irv Faust Sensei of the Albany Aikido of Albany, NY.

Recently, with a selected group of USAF senior teachers, Sensei Faust was promoted to the teaching level of Shihan. With this promotion to Shihan, Sensei Faust became the first Afro-American aikidoka to reach this level of teaching expertise. His many years in aikido, as well as, holding rank in two other martial arts, provides a deeply rich, honest and well thought out teaching perspective in all his classes. Sensei Faust is also a US Air Force Vietnam War veteran.

For me personally, I met Sensei Faust, when we were both performing with Sensei Henry Smith of Aikido of Philadelphia, who 1984 was the director of Solaris Dance Theater of NYC, NY. While waiting off-stage to perform, I watched Sensei Faust go through his bokken suburi for his warm-up. Hooked, I started aikido soon after at the NY Aikikai.

As a ‘newbie’ aikidoka, I would watch, experience by being thrown around, and would be excitedly inspired during the 6:45am morning class at the NY Aikikai. I watched Sensei Faust’s vigorous and joyful training, and safely from the sidelines the after the class all- out free practice he engaged in with the other black belts of equal vitality and ferocity.

To say that I was awe struck by what I witnessed at these after morning class trainings would be an understatement.

Through my mere 28 years of aikido training, Sensei Faust has continued to be an inspiration to me, as well as offering his valuable mentorship whenever we are together on the mat at seminars, or on the phone exchanging our mutual birthdays greetings on March 10th. So to you Sensei Faust, my older brother and honored sempai, CONGRATULATIONS on your promotion to Shihan!

Myoho Aikido Vermont Announces New Location

Myoho Aikido Vermont thanks the unfailing efforts of its incredible students  & friends who transformed what was a complete shambles of an industrial space, one that needed to be fixed in every way, to what you see below. What everyone did in only one week, mostly at night, and often until the early morning hours, is something we will always be so grateful for.  New location: Vermont Mill Properties, 160 Bemont Ave, South Wing, 4th floor, Bennington, VT

 

 

Morihei Ueshiba, An Inspiration

Morihei Ueshiba, a name that not many outside of the Aikido community will likely know.  Most that do practice the art know him by the title O’ Sensei or “great teacher”.  I look at this individual as a hero, not for the usual reasons of the definition, but because he chose to lead a life of learning and evolve his body and mind.  He is the founder of one of the most popular modern martial arts, Aikido.

So why does this make him a hero?  We have to take a deeper look into his past and just exactly what Aikido means. Morihei Ueshiba was born on December 14th 1883 in the Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.  His younger years were spent reading and usually staying indoors which made the boy rather weak for his age.  His father encouraged young Morihei to take up swimming and sumo wrestling to increase his strength.  A couple of years later Morihei realized the importance of being strong after his father was brutally attacked by a gang of thugs.  After a brief stint in the Japanese military he returned home and moved to a small village in the wilderness.  His father built a small dojo on their farm and invited the well know Jujutsu instructor, Takak to train his son.  He took the training well and learned extremely quickly.  A blog on “Energy Arts” says, “Actually, Ueshiba was far beyond aikijitsu’s level of sophistication. His ability to enter, turn, attract and then play with and lead an opponent’s chi and mind was phenomenal.”

  Morehei, later studied under a new type of religion known as Omoto-kyu under Deguchi Onisaburo.  The leader was a pacifist and a believer in non-violent resistance.  It was though odd that Onisaburo would become so close with Morihei, an accomplished and well know martial artist.  Ueshiba later separated with Onisaburo under his request so he could begin his own “way”.  Morehei realized that true budo has two aspects, the spiritual side and the martial side.  They must connect in order to be beneficial in one’s life.  He used his background in various martial arts to create an art with a more peaceful resolution rather than focusing on destroying one’s enemy.  Aikido was the way of harmony, to blend with an attack and use their own energy against them.  The idea was to take the energy given to you, blend with it, and resolve the conflict without causing serious harm to the attacker.  This is what Morihei believed budo was.  A more peaceful way of dealing with negativity and aggression.  There has been controversy about if he ever “created” the art of Aikido.  He took a lot of the techniques from other arts and molded them to fit his idea of what Aikido is.  Peter Boylan gives his side, “What Ueshiba did, was take a very brutal art, Daito Ryu, as taught by Takeda Sokaku, and meld it with the philosophy of Omoto-kyo. This melding is what made it possible for him, and for those who have followed him, to extend their use of its principles to every corner of life.”

After 1925 he gained a large following of students and spent the next four decades teaching.  The art started out as Aiki-jutsu, to Aiki-budo, to the final name he gave the art of Aikido.  After the loss of life during World War II Morihei was evolving the art to a different level.  He wanted his students to learn the way of Aikido but also wanted them to live it.  He taught forgiveness and that it was very important to take your thinking to a higher level than that of your attacker.  The attacking person was always on a lower level of thinking and needed to be forgiven for his actions.  O’ Sensei has an important saying regarding the art:

“In my opinion, it can be said to be the true martial art. The reason for this is that it is a martial art based on universal truth. This Universe is composed of many different parts, and yet the Universe as a whole is united as a family and symbolizes the ultimate state of peace. Holding such a view of the Universe, aikido cannot be anything but a martial art of love. It cannot be a martial art of violence. For this reason, aikido can be said to be another manifestation of the Creator of the Universe.”

That is why Aikido is taught to not severely injure one’s opponent if possible.  Even though the techniques can cause serious injury.  It was during this time that Aikido and the decades that follow that allowed the art to gain a worldly following.  His goal of creating a way of life relating to harmony and still applying a way of protection was achieved.  It is this art in which I practice almost full time and I do my best in applying the practices and forgiving beliefs of Aikido.  But I am also a firm believer that the art was meant as a way of life with an emphasis on self-defense.

Works Cited

“Morihei Ueshiba-Aikido Master.” Energy Arts.  N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“Interview with Morihei Ueshiba and Kisshomaru Ueshiba.” Aikido Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

Boylan, Peter. “Did Morihei Ueshiba Invent Aikido?” AikiWeb. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

 

 

 

By Chad Banister

Open Sky Aikikai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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