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24 Oct, 2010 13:42

Great-grandson of Aikido's founder gives Moscow master class

A three-day festival of Aikido has been held in the Russian capital, with master classes being given to hundreds of students.

"Aikido is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family." That's what the founder of the Japanese martial art, Morihei Ueshiba said about his brainchild aikido, which means "the way of unifying life energy".

Participants at the international Aikido festival had the chance to witness his ideas in action.

This year, as many as 2,000 fans of budo, or Japanese martial arts, took part in a three-day exhibition event.

They were lucky enough to get some invaluable experience and see the brilliant technique of Mitsuteru Ueshiba – the great-grandson of Aikido's founder.

He is expected to succeed his father, and become the fourth head of the Aikikai foundation.

However, Waka-sensei – "the young teacher" – held a master class, showing his well-honed skills.

"There are lots of people keen on Aikido here in Moscow, so I'm very impressed with the event and the inspiring enthusiasm of the Russian followers," Mitsuteru Ueshiba said.

Aikido emerged in the late 1920s and was brought to the attention of the rest of the world in 1951. Since then, its non-competitive basis has attracted over a million followers all over the world.

The main thing that sets Aikido apart from other martial arts is that it uses the power of an enemy against him.

The aim of Aikido is meant to express kindness of heart through the spirit of a martial art as Aikido is a mixture of martial studies, philosophy, and religion.

"Aikido was established as a combination of physical skills and philosophy and it wouldn't be Aikido if you separated them. And our aim is to preserve and promote the ideals of the true Aikido created by the founder," Mitsuteru Ueshiba said.

Aikido training is mental as well as physical, underlining the ability to relax the mind and body. A pure budo comes with the unification of technique, body and heart.

Aikido teaches a person to seek harmony in life and the participants and spectators alike seemed to be inspired by the way a real Japanese sensei unifies his life energy.