The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.
Morihei Ueshiba was about 36 years old when he first encountered Onisaburo Deguchi (1919) in Ayabe when diverted from his journey home to Tanabe from Hokkaido at news that his father had been taken seriously ill. After meeting a member of the Omoto sect on the train, Ueshiba decided to make a quick detour to the Omoto Center in Ayabe to meet the “gifted” teacher, Onisaburo and pray for his father’s recovery. Upon his arrival in Tanabe, he found that his efforts were in vane for his father had already died. However, he was so impressed with Onisaburo that shortly thereafter he relocated his family to Ayabe where he proceeded to engage in farming and spiritual training under the tutelage of Deguchi. It was at this time (in the early 1920′s) that he began to teach an early form of what is today known as Aikido with the encouragement of Onisaburo who recognized his extraordinary physical prowess and martial skills. He called the art he was teaching at that time “Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu.
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