The sounder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba passed away in 1969. So Aikido isn’t a centuries old martial art. Morihei grew up in troubled times, when the Samoerai class just had been abolished in Japan. He explored the Japanese religion Shinto, that seeks inspiration in all that nature provides. He also studied Shingon Buddhism that – contrary to regular Buddhist practice – teaches that you need to find self-fulfilment and enlightenment in this life. He used to go on long spiritual retreats in nature.
Besides this religious exploration, he became an expert in different martial arts. And he became quite famous in Japan because of this. In those days, famous teachers were quite often challenged to a fight. After one of these challenges, where a sword master came at him with a Japanese sword and he managed to exhaust him completely just by evading him, he experienced a moment of enlightenment.
He realised, that a martial art could be a tool to achieve peace and harmony instead. Between men and nature, between people, and within oneself experiencing inner peace.
His spiritual and martial background blended together completely.
Although the name Aikido was used only later, this was the defining moment in which Aikido came into being. All techniques you will train in Aikido, contribute to non-violent selfdefense, inner peace and strengthening your physical and mental wellbeing.
From 1931 until 1969, Rinjiro Shirata was a student of the founder and afterwards, until his death in 193, he was a very important Aikido teacher worldwide. One of his students was John Stevens, a professor of Eastern Philosophy in Japan. He was a confidant of Morihei Ueshiba’s son and wrote and translated many books on Aikido and the founder. He still visits The Netherlands regularly.
Shirata Sensei (sensei is teacher in Japanese) and Stevens Sensei are a source of inspiration for Michael and Wilbert, the main teachers of our school. They have been trained in Japan and The Netherlands in the eighties and nineties and are third generation teachers of Aikido. This is how Aikido travelled to our Dojo in The Hague.