Brief history and development of Aikido
Morihei Uyeshiba was a short and skinny boy who often suffered from sickness due to his weak constitution. He especially liked his father who one day was attacked by political opponents that beat him severely causing injuries so severe that he nearly died. Uyeshiba decided that he will be a strong man, one who is capable of defending himself against multiple attackers.
At first he became the student of the famous Yagyu Shinkage ryu then continued his studies at several different Jiu-Jitsu schools, later also becoming more skilled in the use of traditional weapons, especially when being a student of the Honzain systems where he learned the spear. The most influential however was the Daito Aiki-Jutsu as he mainly used the techniques of this style in the style he founded later, the Aikido.
The Diato Aiki-Jutsu originated from the 9th century, developed from the Minamoto family by Shure Saburo Yoshimitsu. It was a secret art that was firts taught to the public by Sokaku Takeda in 1905. Uyeshiba became Takeda's student in 1911 and studied under him until 1916. Uyeshiba was very eager to learn and even paid extra to Takeda to teach him some fo the more advanced and secret techniques.
After Uyeshiba felt he learned everything he could from Takeda he left the school. Later he met a different kind of teacher, Daguchi, a monk from the Shinto religion. Uyeshiba was so impressed with his personality that he decided to join and follow Daguchi on his mission to Mongolia where they wanted to create a 'world peace'. The mission ended with sufferring, prison and nearly an execution.
Uyeshiba returned to Japan where he started to teach martial arts mainly to naval officers. During an argument with one a fight broke out between them using wooden swords. Uyeshiba efforlessly blocked and diverted all his opponents wild attacks and according to a biography this was the time he realized the true ways of martial arts. By now he was 41 years old.
Uyeshiba continued to teach and his name became more and more known and even the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano visited him and found his new style and skills impressive. In the 1950s the Aikido also started to spread to the West and the first schools were open in Europe and in Hawaii. At first the traditional Japanese views, philosophy and Uyeshiba's explanations for these as well as the techniques seemed confusing for the westerners. Later attempts were to change and translate these for better understanding.
Uyeshiba was also against using Aikido as sport or competitions.