In the early years of the master O'sensei(Morihei Ueshiba) saw his father get attacked and assaulted by political leaders. Because of this, Ueshiba decided to physically better himself to be able to protect his father. He learned several disciplines that include: jujutsu,kenjutsu, and sojitsu. The young man would later incorporate these systems into his style.
Despite his efforts to become physically active, the master found a gap in his knowledge and turned to philosophy and religion. He discovered a deep religion called Omotokyo- a blend of neo-shintoism and socio-political idealism -, where the goal is unify and harmonize all the living things on earth. O'sensei realized that in order for one to find peace, he must also train his soul, not only his body.(this concept is similar to Shaolin gongfu)
At the beginning of his enlightenment, Morihei Ueshiba had a conflict with a naval officer, who challenged him to a fencing(kendo/kenjutsu) match. During the duel, barehanded Ueshiba continued to dodge the attacks of his opponents bokken until he dropped of exhaustion. Later, after retelling the story, O'sensei recalled that he could "see the officers move BEFORE they happened". He also realized that he had defeated an armed advisory without ever touching him.
"Originally called aikibudo by its founder, this art that expressed O'Sensei's philosophy of harmony, protection and love, had a large number of followers by the early 1920's. In 1927 O'Sensei built a dojo in Tokyo. A few years later he founded the Budo Enhancement Society and became its chief instructor."
During the early 1940's, his art started being called "Aikido", but still was practiced only by specifically chosen people of japan. However, after WWII, the art of Aikido was introduced to the world and slowly spread to the U.S. in the late 1950's.
O'sensei was a very peaceful man, and followed religious and philosophical beliefs. The meaning of Aikido demonstrates how the figure taught it only to harmonize oneself with the earth and it's inhabitants.
Ki- energy (ones)
Do- the way
Throughout his life, he continued to revise his system until they reached the less violent, gently flowing techniques of today. O’Sensei died at the age of 86 on April 26, 1969.
Kissomaru Ueshiba, O’Sensei’s son, took over the task of spreading the vision of Aikido - The Art of Peace - after his father’s death. His grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba continues this tradition today.