May 10, 2017

History of Aikido

This is by no means a full account of the history of Aikido, but is simply intended to introduce you to the main figures that have shaped and cultivated our training at Bucks County Aikido.

Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei

Aikido is a true “budo”, or Martial Way, developed in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba, or “O-Sensei” (Great Teacher), as he is called by students of Aikido. O-Sensei was a gifted martial artist whose early mastery of the sword, staff, spear and art of ju-jitsu won him wide acclaim.

It was the essence of “budo” that O-Sensei sought, however, not merely the form. Intense and strong-willed, he continued rigorous physical and spiritual training, progressing to levels of almost superhuman ability.

Eventually, out of the quest for mastery, he gained enlightenment and true insight into the nature of the martial artist’s path. These realizations he incorporated into a science that he called “Ai-Ki-Do: The Way of Unity with the Universal Force.”

O-Sensei had many disciples, a few of whom had the honor of being uchi-deshi, private students who lived in the Hombu Dojo (Aikido World Headquarters) and spent many years in intensive training under his watchful eye. One such uchi-deshi was T.K. Chiba Shihan.

T.K. Chiba Shihan

T.K. Chiba Shihan was born February 5, 1940, in Tokyo. At 14 years of age, he began serious Judo training at the International Judo Academy. He began the study of Shotokan karate at age 16. Dissatisfied with the martial arts he had studied, he began searching for the art which would satisfy his yearning.

In 1958 he found Aikido and began his intensive study. In 1966, O-Sensei directed T.K. Chiba Shihan to cross the ocean and form the Aikikai of Great Britain, which later changed its name to the British Aikido Federation and is now the British Aikikai, for which Chiba Shihan is the technical director.

In 1981, he accepted an invitation from the United States Aikido Federation (directly affiliated with Hombu Dojo, Aikido World Headquarters, and currently headed by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu) and moved to San Diego, California. There he formed San Diego Aikikai. Currently he is Chairman of the Teaching Committee of Birankai International. Chiba Shihan holds the rank of 8th-degree black belt. Learn more about Chiba Sensei.

Bucks County Aikido Chief Instructor
   – George Lyons Sensei

George Lyons Sensei began his study of Aikido in 1985 at the San Diego Aikikai.

In 1986 he joined the teachers training program and became an apprentice of Chiba Shihan.

After six years with Chiba Sensei, he finished his apprenticeship in Tokyo, Japan, as a live-in student in Hombu Dojo, under the guidance of the late K. Ueshiba, son of O-Sensei.

Lyons Sensei is a 6th-degree black belt and Shihan (master teacher). He has been teaching in Bucks County since 1992.