Recommended reading: “Aikikai Hombu: Doshu and Moriteru Ueshiba” by Stanley Pranin

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.

There are some groups which have become independent whose instructors have trained at the Hombu Dojo and which wish to receive ranking from here at a later time. Since Aikido is a path of harmony, we would like them to get along with each other. If everyone were to declare himself the head of a different style, the Aikido world would consist of a number of isolated, rival schools and could not be united. The act of attempting to win recognition only for oneself is against the spirit of harmony and can only be criticized. If the Aikido world becomes united, society’s view of Aikido will become higher. It is important for us to cooperate with each other and make an effort to take a bold leap. This is democracy, isn’t it? A dictatorial approach is unsuitable. I think we should all unite under the banner of Morihei Ueshiba.

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  1. Excellent thought. Some of us, though, seek not for ourselves, but for our students. Distance and lack of Japanese language skills make harmonization difficult.

  2. Dan Harden says:

    This article is old but timely.

    “The act of attempting to win recognition only for oneself is against the spirit of harmony and can only be criticized……”

    These words can be difficult to process coming from an art that began with a man doing just that. I wonder where lack of real support, dissemination gradually changing into an artifice to politicize and strengthen an organization comes into play. I also wonder where personal vision; such as was the case with Takeda, is reason enough to split apart from an art and a teacher that gave you so much.

    There is no end of Ueshiba telling everyone not only to “Go do their own aikido” but indeed “To develop their own aikido!”

    Seems odd to me to see his family not supporting the same idea. Why does it have to look alike? Why is anyone supporting the idea that there is only ONE Aikido?
    The way of aiki is formless.

    No judgments here, just that history is rife with people who do things then decry the efforts of others who do the same thing to them. It’s a twice told tale.


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