Aikido is a martial way (budo) founded in Japan by Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Aikidoists call the founder, O-Sensei (literally Great Teacher). The word Aikido is comprised of three Japanese characters: Ai (harmony/unity), Ki (spirit/universal energy), and Do (path/way). Aikido can be translated as the way of unity with universal force.
Acknowledged in Japan as a great martial artist and teacher, O-Sensei came to realize the old competitive, winner-loser forms of budo were an impediment to true mastery. He came to believe that true budo was not winning over others, but “winning over (the) discord in yourself “. With this realization as a foundation, O-Sensei developed a budo that gave physical form and a training method to his philosophy.
O-Sensei had many disciples, some of whom were his personal, live-in apprentices. One such former apprentice was T.K. Chiba Shihan. Chiba Shihan eventually settled in San Diego where he has developed Aikido students from around the world. He founded several Aikido organizations including Birankai North America, a non-profit Aikido organization. Ventura Aikikai instructors have studied intensively with Chiba Shihan.