Ueshiba Morihei: The Outlier

If Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu is the ‘father’ of the Aikido, then Ōmoto-kyō should rightfully be the ‘mother’.

I do not need to retell the history of Aikido here. There are plenty of books and stories out there, if you are interested.

The questions that is swirling in my mind is, What makes  Ueshiba Morihei create Aikido?

I mean, he is already the top student of his master Takeda Sōkaku, of the  Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu. He could have continued to spread the teachings and techniques of that art. Frankly, we all could be learning  Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu today!

I think there lies a great discontent in ‘O’ sensei, something is missing in the art he excelled in. He was also a student of Onisaburo Deguchi, in religious and spiritual teachings. Hence when he synthesize his spiritual and martial lessons, Aikido is the genesis.

Think about it, he must have had some guts to strike it out on his own, to chart his path, in a highly structure and hierarchical society like Japan. By ‘branding’ his art as Aikido and not Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu, it certainly will not go well with his sensei. It is all about a certain lineage where we can trace the origins of our skills. In the spirit of ‘Loyalty’, he must have been seen like a ‘traitor’ in the eyes of his fellow Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu practitioners.

Anyway, think about it, when he first started out, how can people tell Aikido apart from Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu? In a material sense, you cannot tell apart a Levi’s Jeans from a GAP Jeans. they are all ‘jeans’. And yet, ‘O’ sensei’s ‘jeans’ is different, looks different, and most importantly feels different.

But today, while we practice Aikido, we are only able to shadow ‘O’sensei. so far no one has come close to what ‘O’ sensei can do. His greatness lies in his originality.

And that is what he wants us to be! Original!

Look at the diversity in Aikido practice, there is simply no patent to it, the structure is fluid in the way it fits the principles of Aikido, of Love and of Harmony. There are thousands of ways to do a Shihonage, and everyone can claim to be effective. But is is only effective, if you apply the principles of Love and Harmony.

So we cannot be seen as practicing ‘aikido’, that would have made ‘O’ sensei turn in his graves. He does not want us to ‘do Aikido’, he wants us to be original, come up with something new, a new style, and a new way, but never forget to incorporate Love and Harmony. So go ahead! let’s all start a new martial arts today!


About Who is Randy Lim

This blog is about the journey and experiences in my life as an Aikidoka. With close to 20 years in the arts, I'll make comments and judgements based on 2 principles, E&E. Experimentation and Experiential reflection. please enjoy, and comment freely.
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