Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei, the founder of Aikido, was a remarkable individual. As a young man, he became expert in a variety of traditional forms of Japanese martial arts including sword, spear, staff and ju-jutsu (empty-handed combat).
A deeply spiritual man, O'Sensei brooded over the futility of the path based on violence and domination over others. Leading a life of austerity and rigorous training, he struggled with this dilemma for many years. In a moment of profound awakening, O'Sensei realized that winning at the expense of others was, at best, a temporary victory which ultimately leads to one's own destruction.
The essence of this revelation is contained in his statement, "Masakatsu Agatsu," true victory is self victory. Transformed by his spiritual insight, O'Sensei's technical mastery evolved into a martial art of refinement and astonishing power. During his life, O'Sensei trained thousands of students, leading them on the path to harmony and self-realization. Now, Aikido offers us the opportunity to put these ideals into practice and make them manifest on the mat and in our daily lives.