Like many martial arts Aikido evolved from other styles of defence and philosophies. Morihei Ueshiba, given the title of O Sensie meaning Great Teacher by his followers, was the founder of this style. Morihei Ueshiba studied several martial arts in his youth before joining the army in 1907.
On leaving the army he moved to a pioneer settlement where he met Takeda Sokaku an expert in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu and considered to be the last samurai. Takeda considered him to be more suited to the Aiki techniques which were less physically demanding. On leaving Sokaku Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba became involved in the philosophy of Oomoto-kyo a modern derivation of Shinto and began teaching in his own dojo.
Daito Ryu was a secret martial art and Sokaku Sensei was so upset with Morihei Ueshiba that he pursued him trying to challenge him to a fight. His challenge was never met and the matter stayed unresolved.
Morihei Ueshiba refined the Aiki techniques and combined them with a non violent philosophy that became aikido. The Art of Aikido begun when O Sensei experienced personal enlightenment in 1925. Fighting with a navel officer, he defeated him without causing injury through the use of Aikido moves.
Through spiritual practice and extensive training Morihei Ueshiba developed a martial art that is practiced and revered throughout the world. Aikido allows the participant to gain personal growth and learn self defence skills without violence towards other participants.