Aikido: a source of inspiration
“Aikido” means “the Way of Unifying Breath.” It is a martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba in the 1920’s in Japan. In 1947, as a thirteen - year - old boy, Kaz started studying the art with Morihei in the small country village of Iwama, north of Tokyo. It was soon after Japan’s surrender in World War II, when no martial arts were allowed to practice. O-Sensei (Grand Master) was secretly teaching it to several young people in his small dojo while he was searching for a peaceful use of the art. It was the only active class of Aikido in the world.
Later Kaz co-translated into English Aikido, a book written by O-Sensei’s son Kisshomaru Ueshiba, which was published in 1962. Now Aikido is practiced all over the world by over a million people. Kaz has contributed numerous articles to Aikido Today Magazine.
“O-Sensei is my only Aikido teacher. When I have questions, I go back to him in my memory. In that way, I am still learning from him–50 years later… Wisdom is acquired using the body as well as the mind. The skill of incorporating various different forces into one positive force must become a body-habit.”
–Interview with Kaz: Aikido Today Magazine, #49
“Everyday O-Sensei would do something extraordinary.
I couldn’t really believe my eyes. It was like a miracle every day.
He would throw people without effort. Or he would pin a person using just
one finger. He would talk to us in a very relaxed way, while the person he
was pinning would struggle to get up. That was something he really liked to
do. I think it may have been the way he was exerting his ki (breath power).
Whatever O-Sensei said was spiritual—and impossible to comprehend. Also, O-Sensei would often say that Aikido is a path of no resistance and, although it seemed contradictory, that it is a path of challenging spirit. He said that Aikido embodies the circle, triangle, and square.”
Remembering O-Sensei, edited by Susan Perry,
Shambhala Publications, 2002