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Founder of Aikido (26): Martial Way - Human Way

by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

Aiki News #55 (June 1983)

We would like to thank Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba for his kind permission to publish these chapter summaries.

The ability he had naturally attained by entering the state of “non-self” and “non-mind” which allowed him to perceive that white flash of light and the experience of becoming a golden body were the events which pushed the founder to a greater and decisive enlightenment.

The founder himself recalled, “I felt in my own body a most unusual, almost superhuman ability that can only be described as the great power of “ki” or a “great spiritual strength.” His mind, technique and body as a martial artist were at their peak. For example, Mr. Shutaro Nishimura, one of the most talented persons in the Waseda University Judo Club came to do a little “dojo busting” but ended up being easily thrown. Mr. Nishimura immediately begged for permission to join the dojo.

Through Mr. Nishimura’s introduction, Mr. Kenji Tomiki, also became a member. Mr. Tomiki had these impressions of the founder at that time.

I was surprised and impressed because it was so different from judo. I had the exceptional opportunity of meeting judo’s creator Jigoro Kano Sensei. The two teachers were diametrically opposite; Kano Sensei was philosophical and scientific while Ueshiba Sensei was religious and mysterious. Even so they both started with “technique” and in the end achieved “the Way”. On this essential plane they were in complete agreement. I had had quite a lot of chances to have bouts with veteran grapplers yet none of them could bear comparison with O-Sensei. I keenly felt how lucky I was to be able to live in the same period as such a great and wonderful master.

It seems that the founder possessed an incomparable strength, but I think that both his divine technique and aikido itself were only really made possible after he had reached that sudden enlightenment in 1925.

The founder later recalled, “I reached the realization that the origin of budo is God’s Love and the spirit of loving protection of all beings.”

This expression shows clearly the state of the founder’s enlightenment, but let’s examine some of his writings, specifically, excerpts from the “Aikikai Bulletin” and the “Aikido Newspaper” from 1950 to 1960. They should help us understand what sort of ideas and beliefs the founder held during that “golden age” back before the war.

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