History

Portrait of Sokaku TakeduAikido or "the way in harmony with ki" is a classic, yet modern Japanese martial art, whose origin is traditionally attributed to the famous twelfth century warrior-general Shinra Saburo Yoshimitsu. [The term 'ki' may be loosely translated as the cosmic spirit or the universal force.] This martial art was transmitted in the Takeda clan till 1575, after which it was practiced in the province of Aizu. Teaching of this martial art Portrait of Morihei Ueshiba to outsiders was strictly forbidden till the latter part of the nineteenth century, when feudal provinces were abolished in Japan. Takeda Sokaku (or Sokaku Takeda by the U.S. convention), one of its last fully licensed practitioners, started teaching outside the Aizu province, calling it Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu (sometimes also known as Yamato-ryu jujutsu). One of his outstanding students, Morihei Ueshiba, taught it as aiki-jujutsu; he then changed the name to aiki-bujutsu, and later to aikido. It is the latter name by which this martial art has become best known.

Portrait of Kenji Tomiki Kenji Tomiki first studied judo under Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan judo, and began practicing aiki-jujutsu under Morihei Ueshiba with the encouragement of Kano himself. In 1938, Tomiki became the first of Ueshiba's students to receive menkyo-kaiden, the ultimate certification in the Japanese martial arts. Kenji Tomiki developed his efficient aikido training system applying the twin principles of judo, "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" and "Mutual Benefit" enunciated by Professor Jigoro Kano. Both Professors Kano and Tomiki were outstanding educators, Kano as President of a prestigious college (which has become the Tsukuba University) and Tomiki as Professor at the Waseda University.

 

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