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O-Sensei's 1961 Demonstration Brochure: Page 3

McKinley 04

Professor Morihei Uyeshiba and the Origin of Aikido

Photo One, upper right corner: Professor Morihei Uyeshiba. Founder of Aikido.

Photo Two, lower left corner: Professor Uyeshiba Demonstrates Katate Tori Kokyu-Nage.

Born in Wakayama prefecture in Japan, as a child he was sickly and weak, and it is difficult to imagine this same person as the founder of such a superior art which startled all of Japan.

He made up his mind to train his body through all the existing martial arts, and during his training period, he showed the utmost courtesy and respect for his teachers, even preparing the bath and food for them.

Armed with only a "bok'ken" (wooden sword), he wandered all over Japan, and if he found one superior to him, remained with him as a pupil and trained until he had learned all that he could learn, then moved on. In time he became the most proficient man in the martial arts in Japan. He was invincible.

With the taste of victory still fresh, and as he was about to attain his goal, he one day began to have doubts. He theorized that to win today, meant to lose someday, and that the strength of youth would naturally give way to age. Being victorious by brute force left an empty feeling. He wondered if there was such a thing as absolute victory. He wondered if the many years spent perfecting his arts were of any value, and what it had accomplished for himself. Of what good is it to subdue others, if one is unable to control one's mind. If this cannot be done, then winning over others will not bring happiness, and what good does it bring mankind in general.

Once the doubts grew, it led to others, and finally to endless doubts about everything. He went searching from temple to temple, and went into the mountains to meditate.

Several years later, he came down from the mountain, and as he poured water over his body to refresh himself, a strange thing happened. He received a message from God as if in answer to his questions, and at that moment he felt his mind and body become light. He could even understand the chirping of the birds, and everything about nature.

Thus the martial arts practiced by Professor Uyeshiba took shape, and gradually changed into the art of AIKIDO, which means "the meeting of minds", and non-resistance.

The violent arts previously practiced, changed into gentle, harmonious arts. Professor Uyeshiba himself moves with the grace of a Japanese dancer. He throws in a second several strong men and yet those who are thrown do not know how it was done. His every movement is in complete accord with nature, and the power of the opponents who attacks him goes back to the opponent himself.

Today AIKIDO is practiced in the United States, France, Italy, India, Burma, and the other countries all over the world with the intent to create world peace and harmony.