Aikido was founded by Japanese Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) after many years of training in other martial arts. Ueshiba had taken part in the Russian-Japanese war and had been witness to much death and destruction during the second World War. Deeply shaken over man's will and ability to solve conflicts in a violent and destructive manner the deeply religious master of the martial arts wanted to transform the art of war into an ”art of peace”.
The thought that a true master of martial arts always have a choice to take, or to give, life to an opponent was not a new one The ability to stop a conflict in the rising had always been considered an act of mastery. The unique part of Ueshiba's thinking was that the techniques and movements of the art should radiate and symbolise peaceful intentions.
“Aikido is the spirit of loving protection of all life.” - O'sensei Morihei Ueshiba