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Founder of Aikido (41): The Principle of Great Harmony and Love

by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

Aiki News #70 (March 1986)

The following is a chapter summary printed with the kind permission of Mr. Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Aikido Doshu, based on the original Japanese text published in 1977.

The developmental process of the newly-born Aikikai was slow to the point that we were criticized for being too cautious. However, this was due to the fact that the members of the office at that time and I all agreed that steady efforts would be best for preserving and perpetuating the family succession system (doto).

Of the many martial arts aikido is the one which places the heaviest emphasis on a pursuit of the Path. Practice in the dojo, training in daily life and demonstrations where practitioners display the results of their training all form part of the art. We are dedicated to carrying forward O-Sensei’s principles of training one’s ki, mind and body through a search for truth based on aikido while enjoying a state of freedom wherein all things in nature and the flow of ki are combined into one. This, moreover, involves creation of a seed to protect Absolute Truth through achievement of a state of harmony with all living things.

As the temporary situation of the reaction to the war began to subside, the number of persons capable of perceiving the search for truth inherent in aikido and its rational techniques slowly started to grow. Upon entering the dojo, students were attracted by the cardinal principle of the “Great Love of Japan” which was ceaselessly preached by the Pounder and they recommended their families, acquaintances and collegues at work to enter the dojo. The uniqueness of aikido began to become readily apparent.

Meanwhile, aikido activities beyond the boundaries of Japan were rapidly increasing. At first, aikido seemed to have been perceived as “moving Zen” or a “new martial art”. However, the originality of the art such as “the philosophy of the creation of all beings in the universe”, “the rationality of circular movements” and “the principle of kokyu power” gradually were understood and the number of practitioners began to increase in Europe, then America followed by Southeast Asia.

In this regard, I cannot forget those who went to Europe and the United States and attempted to transmit the Aiki Path beginning around 1952 despite the many hardships involved.

These individuals can be divided into two groups, those of the earlier and later periods. The first group includes those who traveled abroad when aikido had yet to become Internationalized and some have separated from the aikikai Headquarters or have already passed away. This group Includes Minoru Mochizuki, Tadashi Abe, Koichi Tohei, Aritoshi Murashlge and Mutsuharu Nakazono, who were imbued with the frontier spirit. The second group includes

those active within the framework of the aikikai organization who went abroad after 1955 and include Hiroshi Tada, Nobuyoshi Tamura and Yoshimitsu Yamada who extended themselves teaching aikido abroad.

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