Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) : O-Sensei. Founder of Aikido.
The name “Aikido” as the official designation exists since February 1942. Prior to that this martial art was known under several names, but the essence was always the same. Its founder Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) was O-Sensei.
Morihei Ueshiba was one of the greatest martial artists. His special talent lay in combining effective martial arts techniques with deep spirituality. He explored the deep philosophical aspects of budo, and had a great influence on both martial artists and philosophical thinkers.
As O-Sensei’s reputation grew, disciples flocked to him. Many of them became his uchideshi; they lived with their teacher and shared the daily life with him.
Aikido is the art of spiritual transformation. Although O-Sensei was religious man, he did not convey his religion to his students. Instead, he tried to help people to develop deep reverence for life and for all creatures, and a sense of loving care.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999)
Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the second Aikido Doshu, was the third son of the founder. He was born in 1921. In 1946 he graduated from Waseda University. In 1948 he became the head of Tokyo Hombu Dojo, and in 1967 the president of Aikikai. In 1969, after O-Sensei’s death, he took over the legacy of Aikido. Besides, he was the curator of Nippon Budokan, the Martial Arts Hall in Tokyo.
Kisshomaru sensei died on January 4, 1999. He left behind a rich legacy: During his lifetime, Aikido dojos were established in many countries, and thus the art of Aikido spread all over the world.
Moriteru Ueshiba (born 1951)
Moriteru Ueshiba, the third Aikido Doshu, was born in Tokyo in 1951. He is Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s second son, the grandson of the founder Morihei Ueshiba. He graduated from Meiji University.
Following his father and grandfather, the present Doshu teaches and manages Aikido. He is also the President of the Aikikai Foundation and holds the post of Hombu Dojocho.
His son is Mitsuteru Ueshiba sensei.