"TO INJURE AN OPPONENT IS TO INJURE YOURSELF. TO CONTROL AGGRESSION WITHOUT INFLICTING INJURY IS THE ART OF PEACE."
Morihei Ueshiba, or best known as O’ Sensei (Great Teacher) was born in Japan on December 14th, 1883. He dedicated his life to the study and practice of several martial arts and disciplines, including Daito-Ryu jujitsu under the renowned master Sokaku Takeda and Omoto Kyo religion under Onisaburo Deguchi, of whom received an exceptional level of spiritual awareness. He came to the realization that fighting and violence only creates more violence and even the most powerful warriors must eventually succumb to time and aging. In the end defeat is inevitable.
O Sensei understood that ultimate victory came not from fighting at all, creating later on a non-aggressive form of martial art based on the ancient fighting techniques and philosophical traditions of the samurai known as Aikido; an expression of his spiritual beliefs.
In 1925, came the great enlightening for O’ Sensei, a revelation that occurred after the defeat of a naval officer. This union of mind, body and spirit enabled him to layout the philosophical principles, on which aikido is based.
It was in Iwama that Morihei Ueshiba conceived the birth of the art now called Aikido. This sanctuary, consisted of the Aiki Shrine, his home, and a dojo, all of which were completed in 1945. Also by that time, Aikikai in Tokyo was reestablished and was recognized as the World Headquarters of Aikido, lead by his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba and today by his grandson Moriteru Ueshiba.
In 1960, O’Sensei was one of four martial artists to ever receive the Shiju-hosho, this honorable award of achievement, would be given to him by the Emperor Hirohito himself. O Sensei continued his practice of Aikido until his death at the age of 86. After his passing on April 26, 1969, the Japanese government bestowed it's highest honor declaring Morihei Ueshiba to be a Sacred National Treasure of Japan.
"The secret of Aikido, is to harmonize with the movement of the universe and bring our selves into accord with the universe itself." O' Sensei maintained that budo is a work of love, a path to overcome discord in our selves and bring peace to the world, "to make the heart of the universe one's own heart."