Master Morihei Ueshiba
(1883 - 1969)
"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life, and then apply the Art to all that you encounter." - Morihei Ueshiba
At the turn of the 20th century, Morihei Ueshiba, or O'Sensei (Great Teacher), as he is known to students of Aikido, was Japan's most formidable martial artist. Master of sword, spear, and hand-to-hand fighting techniques, O'Sensei was unbeaten in countless matches. A deeply spiritual man, Master Ueshiba felt that winning at another's expense was a shallow victory, if indeed a victory at all.
In 1926, O'Sensei had an epiphany, one that he credits with the birth of modern-day Aikido. He realized that true victory was the victory over one's own internal discord and the real purpose of martial training was to "nurture and protect all living things." From that moment until his passing on April 26th, 1969, he devoted his entire life to the development of this concept. Ueshiba's teachings revolutionized the martial arts world.
In O'Sensei's words, "Aikido is Love."