Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Morihei Ueshiba is universally referred to as O’Sensei which means “Great Teacher.” O’Sensei spent a lifetime studying many different types of Japanese budo or martial arts where he developed a great deal of expertise, but he was also a deeply religious man as well. In 1907, Morihei Ueshiba met and began studying with Sokaku Takeda, a famous martial arts practitioner of the time. During O’Sensei’s studies with Takeda he reached the pinnacle of his martial arts prowess, but he was still troubled by the fact that most martial arts required the killing or maiming of an opponent in order to “win” in a conflict. In a chance encounter, O’Sensei met religious leader, Onisaburo Deguchi and began studying with him. It was at this time that O’Sensei developed Aikido which was a synthesis between the martial arts techniques that he had mastered and his spiritual beliefs, in particular the preservation and betterment of mankind. Aikido is a martial art that is dedicated to the preservation and betterment of all life and therefore the techniques in Aikido are designed to align, control and redirect an aggressor’s energy in order to preserve the attacker’s life rather than to injure or kill the opponent.
After O’Sensei’s death in 1969, his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999) became Nidai Doshu or second Doshu. Under the Second Doshu’s direction, Aikido spread throughout the world. Today, Aikido is practiced by over a million people and has spread to over 130 countries: North, Central and South America; Western and Eastern Europe; and Southeast Asia. The founder of the Aikido Center of Los Angeles (ACLA), Reverend Kensho Furuya studied Aikido in Japan in 1969 and was a direct student of Second Doshu.
The Aikido Center of Los Angeles enjoys a lineage which can be traced back to the founder of Aikido which in turn can be traced back to Emperor Seiwa in 858 AD. Furuya Sensei strove to pass on the teachings of his teacher Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Nidai Doshu just as we strive to teach Aikido with those same traditions and motives. We are proud to say that we participate in something which is over 1000 years old.
The Third Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba, grandson of the Founder, currently heads the worldwide Aikido organization. Active in promoting Aikido throughout the world, the current Doshu is known for his clear and powerful style of Aikido. Eventually, Moriteru Ueshiba will be succeeded by his son, Mitsuteru Ueshiba, who will become the head of the worldwide organization as the Fourth Doshu.
The world headquarters or Hombu Dojo was founded by O’Sensei in 1931 and it is still in its original location 86 years later in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo, Japan.