Aikido was created by Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平 Ueshiba Morihei, 14 December 1883 – 26 April 1969), referred to by some aikido practitioners as Ōsensei ("Great Teacher").
During Ueshiba's lifetime and continuing today, aikido has evolved from the "Aiki" that Ueshiba studied into a wide variety of expressions by martial artists throughout the world.
Ueshiba developed Aikido primarily during the late 1920s and 1930s through the synthesis of the older martial arts that he had studied. The core martial art from which aikido derives is Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu, which Ueshiba studied directly with Takeda Sōkaku, the reviver of that art.
Additionally, Ueshiba is known to have studied Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū with Tozawa Tokusaburō in Tokyo in 1901, Gotōha Yagyū Shingan-ryū under Nakai Masakatsu in Sakai from 1903 to 1908, and judo withTakagi Kiyoichi, 1894–1972) in Tanabe in 1911.
The art of Daitō-ryū is the primary technical influence on aikido. Along with empty-handed throwing and joint-locking techniques, Ueshiba incorporated training movements with weapons, such as those for the spear (yari) , staff (jō), and perhaps the bayonet (銃剣jūken)
However, Aikido derives much of its technical structure from the art of swordsmanship
Ueshiba moved to the island of Hokkaidō in 1912, and began studying under Takeda Sokaku in 1915. His official association with Daitō-ryū continued until 1937. However, during the latter part of that period, Ueshiba had already begun to separate himself from Takeda and the Daitō-ryū.
Ueshibas Religious influences
After Ueshiba left Hokkaidō in 1919, he met and was profoundly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi, the spiritual leader of the Omoto-kyo religion (a neo-Shinto movement) in Ayabe.This was a great influence on Ueshiba's martial arts philosophy of extending love and compassion especially to those who seek to harm others.
Aikido demonstrates this philosophy in its emphasis on mastering martial arts so that one may receive an attack and harmlessly redirect it. In an ideal resolution, not only is the receiver unharmed, but so is the attacker.
In addition to the effect on his spiritual growth, the connection with Deguchi gave Ueshiba entry to elite political and military circles as a martial artist. As a result of this exposure, he was able to attract financial backing and gifted students. Several of these students would create their own schools of aikido.
The spread of Aikido
Aikido was first brought to europe (France) in 1951. Teacher were sent all around to set up dojos and promote the art, including Koichi Tohei, sent to Hawaii.
Teachers were also sent to Australia, Italy, Germany and the United States.
Kenshiro Abbe Sensei (also a Judo and Sword expert [sword - Hokushin Itto Ryu]).
First taught Aikido tin the United Kingdom in 1955.
Aikido 'has now' and 'continues to' change.
Master Ueshiba's students have spread their own understanding of Aikido around the world.
This has given us the 'older' harder styles of Aikido and the 'modern' softer styles.
Outside of Japan there is not such promotion of the religious element Master Ueshiba followed.
This has become a 'universal philosophy' of peaceful existence, acceptable to all.
Today there are many Aikido dojo available throughout the whole world.