Aikido can be traced back to the Japanese 9th century. It was during the feudal society that the aiki system of techniques were developed.Many generations passed and eventually a man called
Yoshimitsu trained in the art and devised many of his own moves by watching a spider skillfully trap a large insect in its web! His style was called Aikijutsu.The art was passed in secret to other generations and eventually reached a man called Sokaku Takeda, who played a major role in the foundation of modern Aikido. One of Takeda's students was Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of modern Aikido.
Morihei Ueshiba developed aikido in the early 1900s after many years of research, practice and development. As a youth Ueshiba Sensei, or OSensei (Great Teacher) as he was called, applied himself to many arduous years of training in Budo (Japanese martial arts) learning jujutsu, the spear, staff, Aikijutsu, and enjoyed the reputation of being unbeatable with the sword.Although he became very strong, O-Sensei was troubled with the idea that winning at someone else's expense was not really winning. O-Sensei came to realise that true self-defence was winning over the discord within yourself. Though an acknowledged master, O-Sensei continued to practice strenuously and Aikido was born as a way to avoid harm while not inflicting permanent injury on an aggressor.
One of O-Sensei's students was a man called Soke Gozo Shioda who at the age of 18 came to Kobukanto study. Gozo Shioda had previously practised gymnastics, kendo and excelled in judo where he attained 3rd dan. O-Sensei invited Gozo Shioda to use his judo skills against him, where
O-Sensei subsequently threw Gozo Shioda through the air head first! Gozo Shioda was bewildered with what had happened to him and the very next day he launched his Aikido career under the guidence of Ueshiba. After the Second World War, which had resulted in the subsequent banning of all martial arts in Japan, Shioda Sensei performed his first public demonstration in 1954. In the presence of a 15.000 strong crowd, Shioda Sensei was awarded the grand prize for best demonstration. Within a year Soke Gozo Shioda was heading his own Aikido dojo, the Yoshinkan, named after his fathers original dojo. In 1961 Ueshiba Sensei awarded Soke Gozo Shioda the rank of 9 th Dan. Shioda Sensei's outstanding contribution to the promotion of Aikido and Japanese Martial Arts in general was further acknowledge when in 1984 the International Martial Arts Federation awarded him the rank of 10 th Dan along with the title of Meijin (Grandmaster).
Soke Shioda Gozo died in 1994, leaving an organization which now stretches all over Japan, the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Soke Gozo Shioda was convinced that through the silent language of Aikido, all differences between peoples and cultures would disappear making peace and a harmonious co-existence a reality rather than an ideal.