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History of Aikido

Modern Aikido was developed by Morihei Ueshiba in the early part of the 20th Century. As a young man Ueshiba became interested in the Samurai Fighting Arts of Ju-Jutsu (ths supple art), Kenjutsu (swordmanship), So-Jutsu (spear fighting) and Daito Ryu Aiki-Ju-Jutsu.

The physical form of his study was influenced heavily from his study of Daito Ryu, under Sokaku Takeda, a fearsome martial artist and warrior. Ueshiba also studied under the enigmatic teacher and philosopher Onisaburo Deguchi, of the Omoto Kyo sect.


Ueshiba in time also studied philosophy, and became interested in the environment and the nature of the universe. As he became enlightened he saw Aikido as a way to develop the self, without harming others. He became known as "O-Sensei" or Great Teacher, and many people studied under him.

As his students travelled and spread the word of Aikido, his influence was passed to instructors within the UK. Transmission to the present instructors is through Master Shigeho Tanaka 9th Dan. He in turn has taught Pat Stratford 8th Dan and the late Shihan Chris MacDonald 6th Dan