Aikido has over the years held for me personally a strong two-fold attraction: first, as a vehicle for development of personal power to enable the individual to successfully deal with life’s many challenges; and secondly, as an ethical system, based on deep respect for the value of life. Morihei Ueshiba, better known to us all as “O-Sensei,” was the embodiment of these ideals that serve as cornerstone principles for the martial art he created.
Further, I am of the firm conviction that O-Sensei’s aikido contains a message of vital importance to large numbers of persons from all walks of life and from all points on the globe. Accordingly, the pages of this publication have and will continue to be devoted to the explication, dissemination and furtherance of the aikido model as it applies to all sectors of human experience. More specifically, some of the areas we consider greatly relevant include: historical documentation of the Founder’s life; training approaches which stress sound, effective technique; aikido principles applied to interpersonal communications; exploration of the philosophical implications of aikido, etc.
The current issue of Aiki News marks the beginning of our 5th year of publication and past readers will immediately recognize this, the 30th number, as the first bilingual edition. And, on this occasion, I would like to welcome our Japanese readers. The growth of aikido has now reached the stage where foreign practitioners have begun to mature in their understanding and performance of the art. Such cultural diversity in the aikido community can be regarded as a highly positive factor as talented individuals find constructive expression for their creative energies through O-Sensei’s art. We all stand to benefit from the continued evolution of aikido and this publication stands ready to function as a sorting point and multi-lingual transmitter of relevant information pertaining thereto. At the same time, we will constantly make reference to O-Sensei’s life experience and training philosophy as the starting point and standard of measure for our own practice.
We would like to express our gratitude to Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba for granting Aiki News a most interesting and informative interview which appears beginning on page three of this issue. Our respect for this exceptional individual grows with each passing year as he admirably continues to carry out the demanding role of leader of and spokesman for aikido worldwide. Also, we wish to extend our thanks to Mr. Yamane of Tokyo Times for permission to reprint a fascinating 17-part series of articles dealing with the Founder’s life (page 7). In closing, it is our sincere hope that the pages contained herein will provide heretofore unavailable information and stimulating perspectives for aikidoists the world over.
The above article was prepared with the kind assistance of Jason Wotherspoon of Australia.