AIKIDO was founded by Master Morihei Uyeshiba (Ueshiba). He developed and synthesized it from various other martial arts which he learned as a young man. His practical experience in these arts is one of the richest and most thorough of any sensei (teacher). Many of the arts and techniques which are found in aikido date back, in fact, more than 700 years to the time of the Genji and Heike regimes. A number of the masters under whom Master Uyeshiba studied died without revealing their arts to any other disciple. The records of Master Uyeshiba's studies include, among others:
Master Uyeshiba himself marks 1952 as the year in which his thus far unsatisfied search for a deeper meaning to be attributed to the martial arts came to an end, or rather to the threshold of a new dimension which was to be explored further by him and by his followers. It was in this year that he succeeded in blending the highest ethics of mankind with the practice of the martial arts: he developed that practice into a particular, truly defensive art in accordance with the highest dictates of those ethics.
In 1927 his dojo, or practice hall was moved to metropolitan Tokyo. His method aroused interest in the highest circles. he taught until World War II emptied his dojo of its most promising pupils.
There was a temporary ban on any instruction in military arts (1945) but with renewed stability Japan once more assumed a position of prominence in Asia and in the community of nations, and this ban was lifted. Since then, aikido has expanded until today it is being taught all over the world.
This excerpt was taken and edited from AIKIDO AND THE DYNAMIC SPHERE by A. Westbrook and O. Ratti