A BRIEF HISTORY OF AIKIDO

Aikido is a modern martial art developed by O Sensei (Morihei UESHIBA, 1883-1969) incorporating joint-lock and throwing techniques applied in self-defense with the intent of not injuring or causing only minimal damage to the attacker.

The techniques derive mainly from Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and the art evolved gradually during the late 1920s and 30s under various names with its modern name officially adopted in 1942. It emerged as a major martial art following World War II, spreading first to Hawaii, the USA and Europe. Today it is practiced world wide. 

Significant additions to the Art have been made over the years in the development and teaching of the principals of ki (notably by Koichi Tohei, 1920-2011). Ki can be considered as the extra benefit one gains when mind and body are coordinated. Traditional Aikido seeks to develop kokyuho (the method of breathing and blending) through the practice of technique.

Aikido in the UK  began in 1955 with Kenshiro Abbe (founder of the British Judo council) teaching Aikido classes alongside Judo. Other significant figures at this time were Tadashi Abe and Senta Yamada. All the major British Shihans emerged from this period, including Ken Williams and Haydn Foster (1927-2011). During the late 1960's and early 1970's Kazuo Chiba, as official representative of the Aikikai Hombu, played a  significant role in establishing consistent teaching standards. Aikido has since split into the diverse collection of organizations we find today.