Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba (often referred to by his title ‘O Sensei’ or ‘Great Teacher’). On a purely physical level it is an art involving some throws and joint locks that are derived from Jujitsu and some throws and other techniques derived from Kenjutsu. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you.

Ueshiba developed aikido primarily during the late 1920s through the 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts that he had studied.  Ueshiba is known to have initially studied with Tozawa Tokusaburo from the Kito Ryu when he was 13 who taught him ju jutsu. He soon learnt to wield the spear and sword and at 20 (1908) he was already recognised as an expert and received a diploma from his master Nakai Masakatsu. After the Russo-Japanese war he suffered from a serious attack of encephalitis and on his recovery took up judo with Kiyoichi Takagi (1894–1972) in Tanabe in 1911.

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