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Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平) 1883-1969 was a Japanese martial artist and founder of Aikido. He studied many different forms but was most influenced by Daito-ryu, a school of Ju-jutsu, from Hokkaido, Japan. He began teaching this system in the 1920s and Kenji Tomiki was one of his early pupils.

Ueshiba was greatly influenced by a form of Shinto-ism, which had a profound effect on the principles that turned Ju-jutsu into Aikido. Central to these principles is harmony with oneself and the rest of the world.

Using the attacker's own momentum, Aikido aims to neutralise an attack while promoting a relaxed state of mind and body.

In one of his later, more spiritual moments he said: "The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter – it is the Art of Peace, the power of love"

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