The Great Master, Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, was born in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture, Honshu, Japan, on December 14, 1883. He started the study of the Nine Chinese Classics under Priest Mitsujo Fujimoto of Jizoji Temple, Shingon Sect Buddhism, at the age of seven. At the age of ten, he studied Zen Buddhism at the Homanji Temple. Blessed with an extraordinary intellect and undying effort by nature, he would come to master numerous martial arts and create one of the most integrated martial arts of our time, Aikido.
Over the years, he studied Kito-Ryu Jujitsu, Shinkage-Ryu, and Daito-Ryu Aikijutsu. Once, during his training, he contracted beriberi and had to return home. In recovering, he began to walk for miles, then running and weightlifting. He was not yet satisfied despite the tremendous strength he acquired, and he began to study Yagyu-Ryu fencing, Aioi-Ryu, and Hozoin-Ryu Jujitsu, Judo, Kenjitsu, Kendo, bayonet and knife fighting arts, even modem gymnastics.
He wandered from town to town seeking various teachers, eventually covering many of the territories of Japan, India, China, and other areas of Asia. He virtually practiced all the existing martial arts.
The Master was always full of vigor and possessed an unyielding spirit. Whatever others did, he would do four times as much. He was only five feet one inch tall, but built like a tank, weighing almost two hundred pounds. His former weak body became a powerhouse of muscles.