“Morihei Ueshiba Founder’s Course… Available through Monday, October 27th!”
What we see here is a rather unstructured demonstration of sword blending forms. It may appear that uke is initiating the sword attacks. But what is actually happening is Morihei is giving verbal cues such as… “Strike”… “thrust”. These oral commands and O-Sensei’s body language are what actually trigger the attacks. He is in control of the direction and timing of the sword interaction.
Now notice that Morihei’s actions consist of counterstrikes to the head, thrusts to the throat, and parrying uke’s sword. The end result is that uke is unable to mount a decisive attack. He is thwarted in his every move. These are important lessons that can be applied to our empty-handed practice…
Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, had a storied career in martial arts that lasted more than 60 years. He lived in epic times having seen action in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and participated in the training of young soldiers bound for the battlefield in the World War II era. These intense experiences together with the devastation suffered in the wake of Japan’s defeat shaped his thinking about the true purpose of fighting arts. Morihei began to view the martial arts as instruments of peace. It was a message of harmony and conflict resolution that he promoted in his teachings in the postwar era.
Luckily, a number of films and audio recordings of the Founder have survived. We have gathered together an extensive collection of more than 30 films and interviews with Morihei Ueshiba that will give present-day practitioners of aikido and intimate glimpse into the teachings and techniques of this great master.