Morihei Ueshiba was a famous Japanese martial artist and philosopher who is best known as the founder of Aikido. He designed his art as a system of self-defense that also cared for the well being of the attacker. This unique trait of Aikido relates to Ueshiba’s view that those who try to harm others are the ones who are the most in need of compassion.
His views on martial arts philosophy were heavily influenced by his instructor, Takeda Sokaku, who taught him the martial art of Daito-ryu, as well as by Onisaburo Deguchi, the leader of a neo-Shinto religious movement known as Omoto-kyo
Ueshiba’s philosophy is profound and applicable to anyone’s life, regardless of whether one practices martial arts or not. He redefined Sun Tzu’s and Musashi Miyamoto’s idea of a warrior as being deceptive and merciless, instead teaching that the way of the warrior is to spread peace and love. His philosophy has the characteristics of a more Zen Buddhist approach at the Tao Te Ching.
Morihei Ueshiba’s collected speeches, writings & poems were published as The Art of Peace, which can be downloaded as a PDF file here