“Collecting, preserving, and publishing Aikido’s heritage,” by Stanley Pranin

I have been actively involved in aikido for 48 years. About 12 years after starting my practice of the art, I began to take a serious interest in the collection of historical materials about the Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the creation of the art. Without my realizing what was happening, this became a passion and the substance of what started out as a humble newsletter, then a magazine, and finally this website.

To be sure, this is a niche market, if not a micro-niche. No one knows how many people currently practice aikido, but certainly there are at least a few hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more than a million. Of those, what percentage considers a study of the roots of the art as an important part of their training? I don’t profess to know, but I do know it is to this audience I have addressed my work all these years, and it is these people who have sustained my continuing research activities. I can’t imagine what my life would have become had it not been for this strange mix of happenstance.

There will always be newcomers to aikido. Of these, a few will display an interest in the fascinating odyssey that culminated in the creation of Morihei Ueshiba’s art. The material available here on Aikido Journal will provide the answers to many of their questions. Due to the miracle of the Internet, only a good dose of curiosity, a few strokes of the keyboard, and a bit of reading, is all it takes to become knowledgeable in this subject.

As much as we have published all these years, there is even more material that remains in unpublished form: hundreds of thousands of photos, hundreds of hours of film and video, a mountain of untranslated documents and articles. It is unrealistic for me to assume that we will be able to finish the task of organizing and publishing all of these materials during the time I have left on this earth. Still I am optimistic that we will be able to significantly increase the number of publications beyond the considerable amount that has already seen the light of day. Our ability to achieve this end will depend to a great extent on our ability to harness the viral power of the Internet, and on your level of engagement as devotees of aikido. Please join with us!

Now here are your assignments… I already have mine, and am struggling under their weight!

If you have not already done so, sign up to receive my free 4-hour lecture on aikido history.

Also, have a look at the covers of the 119 issues of Aiki News/Aikido Journal that were published over a 26-year period. Then, seriously consider a two-year subscription or renewal to this website. You get a bunch of free stuff with this, including all of the magazines ever published!

Thanks for listening!

Stanley Pranin


  1. Bless you Stan. wonder if there’s is even as much “public domain” material in Japan as you’ve made available to us here.

  2. Yes, agrees. So much great work done, and still in the doing. I’ll keep subscribed to the newsletter, and am compiling a book ober here about my own precious teacher’s teachings. II can help with translations from the Japanese. I am so happy you’re there for us, yes, let us know what we can do:)

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