Interview with Morihei Ueshiba: “The Great Giant Aikido” (1958)

Many martial arts magazines have come and gone over the years. A few of them contain articles that are especially worth preserving. This interview with Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba from the short-lived Self-Defense World certainly qualifies as one of them. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

“In the old days, the martial arts were used in deplorable ways, especially during the Japanese Era of the Warring States when they were used to benefit the private interests of daimyos. That’s not all to be admired. I myself taught martial arts to solders during the war, instructing them in killing or wounding people. After the war, I became much agonized about it. But seven years ago [1951], I began to understand the real way of aiki.”

“Heaven and earth are complete, but mankind is wavering and undecided. Man’s purpose is to set things straight, and I began to look upon aikido as an expression of love and harmony. Since then I have studied aikido for the benefit of all people. The spirit of aikido is of harmony to be sure, but even more it is a princple of nature, heaven and earth. It is a martial art derived from all of the phenomena of the cosmos, a surpasssing martial art.”

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