Recommended reading: “Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido?” 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.

After practicing and researching aikido for a number of years I gradually arrived at a hypothesis that went against conventional wisdom and the testimonies of numerous shihan who claimed to have spent long years studying at the side of aikido founder, Morihei Ueshiba. I had over the years attended numerous seminars given in the USA by Japanese teachers and also made several trips to Japan where I had seen and trained with many of the best known teachers. My theory was simply that aikido as we know it today was not the art practiced and taught by O-Sensei, but rather any one of a number of derivative forms developed by key students who studied under the founder for relatively short periods of time.

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Click here to read Stanley Pranin’s article, “Is O-Sensei Really the Founder of Modern Aikido?”


  1. Here’s The Bottom Line: O’Sensei continued and refined upon, a tradition of real, nitty-gritty APPLIED SURVIVAL in the aftermath of a period in history where it was needed; and not a cultish after office socialising, cardio-prancing of dilettantes in too comfortable supermarket suburbs.

    As for his “heroic” temper, critical comments and frequent outbursts, that’s the natural tendency of a true warrior in the presence of dunderheads, bookworms and fools. It is often an act, (albeit backed up with sincerity of intent), in the hope it will awaken them more kindly than the fatality of a real life-death situation, before the occurrence.

    Traditional apprenticeship, true teaching methods which alter and awaken at the core are not suited to big egos, the effete, the degenerate, the soft, the stupid, the petty, the greedy, the self righteous, duplicitous or those with a unionistic, entitlement mentality.
    The old methods worked to transform and to enlighten, but the price was the willing facing of the pain of change with its attendant discomforts.

    And working WITH the teacher instead of sycophantically following blindly any fool with a certificate, a lineage to name drop and coloured tinsel cloth. Few today have the caliber, the backbone, the mindset and what it takes; and therefore such authentic methods seldom work any more, except for a few. The remainder remain sheep who follow nothing much at all, and are not usually sure why.

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