Hawaiian Focus television interview with Yoshioka Sensei

“We have covered many forms of Japanese martial arts on Hawaiian Focus, and tonight we shall pay a visit to the Nuuanu Aikido Club. We visited the Nuuanu YMCA on Pali Highway, where the Advanced Class was in session and Chief Instructor Sadao Yoshioka had the students do a number of demonstrations. On the Aikido segment, we will try to bring out the philosophy behind the art, and how it differs from other forms of martial arts. Aikido was introduced in Japan in 1925 by Morihei Uyeshiba. Uyeshiba taught that “the secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movements of the universe, to bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.” A number of techniques are identified by their Japanese terms. Though the language, culture, and discipline may sound foreign, a cross-culture of students are enrolled in Yoshioka’s class.

Aikido, you know, came from swordsmanship. The founder, Morihei Uyeshiba-sensei, our founder, said “Aikido wa ken no michi” — in other words, it came from swordsmanship.

How far does Aikido go back in Japanese history? I notice that the founder of your school just passed away in 1969, so is it a relatively new form of martial arts as far as the Japanese are concerned?

Yes, you see aiki-jitsu is old, many years old, maybe a thousand five hundred years old. But Aiki-do, like judo, was introduced in 1925 by Morihei Uyeshiba-sensei, and as you say, he passed away in 1969. So, it’s a relatively new art. And the founder always said “Aikido is budo, but the bu in Aikido is love.” The way of love. So it’s ai – ki – do. Ai is ‘harmonize, love,’ ki, ‘your feeling, spirit,’ do is ‘the way,’ and the training that we do is the do, way. And once you have attained aiki, you don’t need the road anymore– you know, once you reach your destination you don’t need the road. So until we get there, we need this training. ”

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