O'Sensei

Professor Morehei Ueshiba

Aikido was created by Professor Morihei Ueshiba in the last century as a path away from the traditional concepts of the Martial Arts. Aikido goes beyond the resolution of physical conflict and personal accomplishment relative to others, and aims to unify mind, body and spirit. Professor Ueshiba dedicated his life to developing Aikido, and became known as O'Sensei, meaning 'Great Teacher.'

 

Aikido techniques are natural movements that form spontaneously when carefully practiced. The Founder made a point of never teaching fixed or kata form. Aikido was created from O’Sensei’s life long search of the true essence of Budo, or Martial Way, and he strongly illustrated that Aikido was not to be used for evil means. There is no competition in Aikido. Aikido can be practiced by anyone and is not determent upon age, strength or gender. It is often described as a way of cultivating a human being, and in the Founder’s own words, “For building a Heaven on Earth.”

 

The literal translation of Aikido is Ai – meaning love or harmony, Ki – meaning universal energy, and Do – meaning the Way. These lofty ideas together manifest the ultimate meaning and purpose of the art. Aikido has roots in traditional unarmed, spear and sword techniques and realistically is an effective Martial Art. Practitioners study weapons, empty hand techniques, and multiple attacker type situations to attain technical foundations, but the ultimate aim is not to win or defeat an opponent. This makes Aikido somewhat different from other Martial Arts, and is why it is often described as a path away from the Martial Art concept.

 

O’Sensei passed away in 1968 at the age of 86, and his teachings were survived through the international Aiki Kai organisation, which was created under O’Sensei for the global development of Aikido for generations to come. Aikido continued to be spread across the world under his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, the late Doshu (lit. Leader of the way). It is now under the leadership of the current Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba, the Founder’s grandson. Aikido was also taught outside of Japan by O’Sensei’s famous Uchi-Deshi, meaning live-in students, who dedicated their lives to the pursuit of Aikido. O’Sensei sent his Uchi-Deshi to selected countries in the world to teach and foster Aikido. One of his students, Seiichi Sugano Shihan, was sent to Australia in 1965 to establish Aikido and oversee its development here. Nearly 50 years later, Aiki Kai Australia has become the nationwide National Association for Aikido in Australia, and remains the only recognised grading body in the country.

 

More about the History of Aikido

 

 

Seiichi Sugano Shihan, 8th Dan

Seiichi Sugano Shihan

Seiichi Sugano Shihan was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1939. He discovered Aikido in his youth, and entered the Hombu Dojo as an Uchi-deshi or live-in student when he was 18. He studied intensively under O’Sensei for many years, and was sent by O’Sensei to Australia to introduce and develop Aikido in 1965. Sugano Shihan dedicated his life to studying and teaching Aikido. He spent more than 45 years leading and overseeing the development of Aikido in Australia before passing away in August 2010. Sugano Shihan’s legacy is continued through his dedicated Australian students, and his teachings are carefully studied and passed on in line with his prevalent moral code:

“Aikido is a Way
There is commitment and there is obligation
Do not abuse or misuse the art of Aikido
Study carefully, honestly and humbly
Respect your seniors and look after your juniors.”

More about Sugano Sensei

Interviews with Sugano Sensei

 

 

The Teaching and Technical Committee

The TTC of Aiki Kai Australia was appointed by Sugano Sensei to look after the technical and ethical direction of Aiki Kai Australia, and maintains that role after his passing. The TTC thus oversees all grading tests and presides at all black belt gradings.

 

Aiki Kai Australia is very fortunate to have three 7th dan shihan members on this Committee:

 

The junior members of the Technical and Teaching Committee are John Watson Sensei and Andrew Dziedzic Sensei.

 

As well as undertaking regular advanced teaching seminars all over Australia, the TTC arranges for some of other more senior Australian teachers to teach on its behalf around Australia.

 

The Aikido Foundation

Up to Sugano Sensei's passing, all students of Aiki Kai Australia registered as students following the direction set by him. On his passing, Sugano Sensei's authority passed to the three Australian Shihans as Trustees of a Trust which was charged with the task of continuing his Aikido legacy in Australia.

 

The Foundation funds various initiatives to bring senior overseas teachers to teach in Australia, to encourage younger students, and is undertaking initiatives to publish material on Sugano Sensei's heritage. In addition, the three Trustees are regularly invited each year to teach at several international schools at which Sugano Sensei previously taught.

 

All students starting Aikido also register as students of the Foundation to help fund activities such as these which benefit all students.

 

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