About Us Continued...
Many thanks to Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei (Founder of Aikido); Rinjiro Shirata Sensei and Professor John Stevens Sensei for protecting and leading the way as well as for teaching Aikido all over the world with harmony, clarity and pure Light.
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Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei (1883 - 1969) was the Founder of Aikido, the Art of Peace. He taught nonviolence, the study of nature and that the Universe is our greatest teacher, our greatest friend. O'Sensei said Aikido is a martial art of Love.
O'Sensei's spiritual practices had a profound affect on the development of his martial art, Aikido. He studied several spiritual exercises of chinkon-kishin - settling down, calming the spirit and returning to the divine (the Source) from childhood from traditional Japanese Shinto methods. While O'Sensei never made these required exercises for Aikido students, he felt that some sort of meditation is necessary in order to understand the practice of Aikido.1 Today, many students from all different types of Aikido practice fune-kogi undo (or the rowing exercise) both alone and together with others. Fune-kogi undo is just one example of a chinkon-kishon exercise, of which there are several.
O'Sensei was a renown martial artist who dedicated his life to creating Aikido, the Art of Peace, as well as continually refining, sharing, practicing and teaching it to others for a large part of his life. However, for a significant period of time up to the end of and after World War II, from 1942 - 1949, O'Sensei as well as a few of his key disciples also had to practice Aikido mostly on their own.2
While Aikido is meant to be practiced with others, chinkon-kishin as well as hitori-waza (single person exercises that form the basic building blocks of Aikido techniques) can be practiced alone as well as with others. Aikido students are taught that each simple movement contains all the principles of the Universe. There is a rich, timeless resource awaiting in the detailed study of O'Sensei's calligraphy, doka (poems with several layers of meaning), hitori-waza and kumi-waza (two person techniques) whether practicing alone or with others for those who seek.
The mind set of not giving up takes courage, practice, determination and fortitude. O'Sensei is always present in the form of Aiki O'Kami - Great Spirit of Harmony - wherever the true spirit of Aikido is sincerely practiced. If one practices in the true spirit of Aikido, one is never practicing alone.
1. The Secrets of Aikido. The hidden teachings and universal truths of Aikido, as taught by its Founder, Morihei Ueshiba by John Stevens.
2. The Shambhala Guide to Aikido by John Stevens.
The Universe As Our Teacher
Practice - Our Prayer For World Peace
Aikido From A Flowing Zen Perspective - Family Oriented