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PROFESSOR MORIHEI UYESHIBA

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(1883 - 1969)

Aikido is a relatively new self-defense art, founded in Japan by Professor Morihei Uyeshiba. As a youth Uyeshiba Sensei, or O'Sensei (Great Teacher) as he was called, applied himself to may arduous years of training in "budo," or the Japanese martial arts. He mastered Jiu-Jitsu, the use of the spear, the staff and enjoyed a reputation as unbeatable with the sword. O-Sensei also delved deeply into religion, studying Zen Buddism and the Shinto religion. Although he became very strong and won many matches, he was troubled with the idea that winning at someone else's expense was not really winning. He came to realize that true self defense is not winning over others,...but winning over the discord within yourself. Though he was an acknowledged master, he began to practice movements, exploring them deeply, searching mentally, and sitting for long hours in meditation. As a result, Aikido was born as a way to divert harm to one's self while not inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor. As Aikido developed, it became clear that it was not only an effective means of self-defense, but truly a way to understand earthly life through the study of the energy flow of the universe.
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