O 2o. Doshu do Aikido (o modernizador)

Kisshomaru Ueshiba ( 1921--1999 ) : 77 anos

--- Dōshu (道主) é um título hereditário (literalmente "mestre do caminho") denotando o representante maior da organização Aikikai

Kisshomaru Ueshiba (植芝 吉祥丸 em japonês; 27 de junho de 1921 - 4 de janeiro de 1999) foi o terceiro filho de Morihei Ueshiba, o fundador do aikido. Kisshomaru foi o Doshu sucedendo seu pai até o fim de sua vida em 1999. Nasceu em Ayabe. Iniciou a treinar, por volta de 1937, com o seu pai, o fundador do Aikido. Em seguida, ele entrou para a Universidade Waseda onde se formou em economia em 1946. Já em 1942, o seu pai o nominou chefe do dojo Kobukan em Shinjuku-Tóquio. 

Kisshimaru socorreu diversas vezes o dojo do fogo, causado causado pelos bombardeamentos da II Guerra Mundial. No início de 1948, Kisshomaru supervisionou o desenvolvimento da organização Aikikai Hombu Dojo (e, assim, da demolição do Dojo Kobukan em 1967 até a construção da sede da Aikikai).

O 2o. Doshu estruturou o curriculo das técnicas do Aikido e com isso favoreceu a grande divulgação que a arte tem nos dias de hoje. É considerado o pai do Aikido didaticamente estruturado. Sua importância para o Aikido é tanto quanto à do próprio fundador, pois enquanto que este tenha criado a arte, o seu filho, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, formalizou sua prática e tabalhou arduamente para a fudamentação e didática do Aikido como é atualmente praticado. Devemos muito a Kisshomaru Ueshiba, o 2o. Doshu do Aikido.

Kosshomaru Ueshiba em ação






Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999): Of frail constitution as a child, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of Founder Morihei Ueshiba, studied kendo as a boy. He began practicing Aiki Budo regularly with his father following the departure of his brother-in-law Kiyoshi Nakakura from the Ueshiba family around 1937-38. Early evidence that Kisshomaru was being groomed as the Founder’s successor is the fact that the younger Ueshiba appears in the 1938 “Budo” book as one of Morihei’s uke. By this time, the core of talented uchideshi of the prewar period had left the Kobukan Dojo mainly related to the mobilization of Japan. Kisshomaru was one of the few young men remaining at the Kobukan Dojo. Others were Gozo Shioda and Zenzaburo Akazawa.

A mere five years later, Kisshomaru became the responsible for his father’s dojo when Morihei retired to Iwama late in 1942. During and after the war, Kisshomaru’s aikido training was irregular because of the extreme conditions in Japan that were unfavorable for martial arts practice. He was employed during the day at a securities company in Tokyo and trained and taught part time in aikido as his schedule allowed. For the first few years, he lived in Iwama and commuted to Tokyo, but later moved back to Ueshiba’s dojo in Tokyo to overseee affairs and shorten the commute to work. During this time, several bombed-out families were living in the dojo.

In 1955, since the Aikikai Hombu Dojo was reviving, Kisshomaru quit his job and began devoting full-time to instruction and management of the dojo. His total combined time of training under his father in the prewar and postwar eras can be estimated at 7-8 years. From 1955 onward until the Founder’s death in 1969, Kisshomaru was kept busy with his teaching schedule and management responsibilities and so it is a guess as how to calculate the length of his study under his father.


Kisshomaru’s situation was extremely complex. As the Founder’s son, he was expected to carry on in his father’s footsteps and manage the course of the development of aikido. In terms of martial ability, he was inexperienced and his temperment such that he rejected a rigorous training model in favor of gentler forms of practice that more closely resembled a cardiovascular exercise system. Simlarly, he refrained from using esoteric language in expressing his vision of the art. Moreover, he edited the writings and speeches published in his father’s name eliminating unfamiliar religious references. Kisshomaru regarded these actions as a reform and improvement of aikido making the art more suitable for postwar Japanese society, and thus easier to spread aikido internationally.


Kisshomaru and Tohei, especially, abandoned the Founder’s martial techniques, budo theory, and teaching methodology. All of them concluded that Morihei’s arcane language and explanations of aikido’s key concepts were inappropriate for modern times. However, except for Tohei, all were careful to couch their criticisms of Morihei in diplomatic terms while displaying outward respect.


For many years, Kisshomaru and Tohei acted as a team. Married to sisters and thus sharing a blood bond, both had their followings within the Aikikai and exerted controlling influence on the key decisions taken by the headquarters.


Kisshomaru, starting in the late 1950s, and Tohei in the early 1960s, began publishing a continuous stream of books on aikido, mostly of a technical nature. These early publications set the de facto standard for aikido pedagogy on which the Aikikai-affiliated curricula were based. The young instructors dispatched from the Aikikai to numerous parts of the world spread these same techniques and teaching methods abroad. Other senior instructors within the Aikikai of course had some influence, but none of them could rival Kisshomaru and Tohei in importance or visibility.

What were Kisshomaru’s and Tohei’s training methods? Boths styles of training had warmups, some of which overlapped, that included exercises inherited from Morihei. There was a core of some 50 empty-handed aikido techniques that were most commonly practiced and that were used for testing purposes. Most of the techniques were practiced in a flowing manner, and nage would seldom perform techniques from a static grab. Although sometimes mentioned in passing, practices commonly used in martial arts such as atemi and kiai fell out of favor in the Aikikai system, and were discouraged in training. The fact of the matter was that any practitioners who attempted to employ strong atemi or kiai would be scolded, or even asked to leave the dojo.


Kisshomaru’s methods were quickly adopted as the standard for instruction at the Hombu Dojo following Tohei’s departure, although the Aikikai senior instructors continued teaching as they had previously. Kisshomaru’s son, the present Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, was groomed under his father’s tutelage, as were the junior instructors who joined the Aikikai in this period. With little modification, Kisshomaru’s system continues today as the official Aikikai curriculum.

--- extraído de:  “Towards A Reform of Aikido Technique (1): Background,” by Stanley Pranin

Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei were the two individuals who had the most impact on the development of aikido in the 1950s and 60s. My research suggests the two were the main decision-makers at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, the world’s largest aikido organization.

I further advanced the view that Kisshomaru and Tohei rejected major parts of the Founder’s technical approach (especially weapons training), his pedagogy, and philosophical views. Am I in error on these points?

I interviewed Kisshomaru more than 10 times, and Tohei Sensei about 5 times. I published all of these interviews, so they are a matter of public record. Certainly, Kisshomaru was the more circumspect in voicing his views about his father’s methods, but he did feel that the Founder’s approach was not appropriate for the times. Moriteru Ueshiba has stated the same thing in no uncertain terms. Tohei, on the other hand, was very direct and there can be no denying his critical views of Morihei.


I did not imply that the 1950-60 deshi at the Aikikai were weak and wimpy. What I have said was that their exposure to the Founder’s aikido was limited because of his rather erratic schedule. These deshi were taught mainly according to the soft-styles of Kisshomaru and Tohei who rejected the methods employed by the Founder. O-Sensei would often shout his displeasure at the kind of technique being taught at the Aikikai at inopportune moments in front of everyone. The Aikikai staff would sometimes arrange for him to go back to Iwama because he would make such a nuisance of himself.

--- extraido de comentário do próprio autor sobre o texto acima