Aikido was founded by Master Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei, born on December 14, 1883, in Western Japan. After mastering classical styles of Judo, Kendo and Jujitsu he created Aikido, the art which maximizes self-defence with minimal force by developing one's physical and mental prowess.
Morihiro Saito Shihan , an Aikikai 9th Dan, and one of the highest ranking aikidoists in the world, began his Aikido education under the founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. Born in 1928 in Ibaragi Prefecture, the home and birthplace of Aikido, 18-year-old Saito came to train under the notable O'Sensei until his death in 1969.
Hitohiro Saito Soke, began his Aikido education at the young age of seven under the direct tutelage of the founder, Morihei Ueshiba continued this training under O'Sensei till his death at which time he continued his learning under his father, Morihiro Saito. During this period, he attended various schools to study religions of all denominations, in particular, the Omoto-Kyo, this religious path was the same taken by O'Sensei and which aided the latter in the development of Aikido. It was also during this period as well that Hitohiro schooled in Sendai training under Hanzawa Sensei, and practising in Osaka with the famous calligraphy teacher and Aikido student of O'Sensei, Abe Sensei. To further emulate his teacher, Hitohiro also practices daily chinkon kishi to enhance his daily life and being.
Morihei Ueshiba was history's greatest martial artist and founder of Aikido. Morihei Ueshiba is referred to by Aikidoists as O-Sensei "Great Teacher". The following quotations have been compiled from O-Sensei's collection of talks, poems and calligraphy and from oral tradition.
The Art of peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, and a suitable path to follow. Foster peace in your life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.
Eight forces sustain creation: Movement and stillness, Solidification and fluidity, Extension and contraction, Unification and division.
Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead. The Art of Peace is a celebration of the bonding of heaven, earth and humankind. It is all that is true, good and beautiful.
Those who practice the Art of Peace must protect the domain of mother nature, the divine reflection of creation, and keep it lovely and fresh. Warriorship gives birth to natural beauty. The subtle techniques of a warrior arise as naturally as the appearance of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Warrior is none other than the vitality that sustains all life.
Create each day anew by clothing yourself with heaven and earth, bathing yourself with wisdom and love, and placing yourself in the heart of mother nature.
Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty all your thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightment.
As soon as you concern yourself with the "good " and "bad" of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.
To practice the Art of Peace, you must ... Calm the spirit and return to the source. Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness and desire. Be ever grateful for the gifts from the universe, your family, mother nature and your fellow human beings.
The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body and polish the spirit.
To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
Always practice the Art of Peace in a joyful manner.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.