Morihei Ueshiba (1882-1968)  known as O-sensei (great teacher) investigated and studied  traditional Japanese martial arts before opening his own school in 1925. He taught a new martial art which borrowed significantly from traditional sword, staff and hand to hand styles of fighting with the  most notable being Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu. Ueshiba  applied himself to the reworking of these combat techniques and synthesized them into a form that taught harmony and reconciliation rather than violence and death. In this way, he satisfied his belief that true Budo (the way of the warrior) was the way of peace. Since the 1920's, several styles of Aikido have developed.

Gozo Shioda (1915-1994) was one of Morihei Ueshiba’s foremost students and evolved the Yoshinkan style which incorporates precision in executing techniques with the study of basic movements. This is combined with detailed instruction to provide a teaching methodology that is easily learned and is suitable for both practical self-defense and personal development. Yoshinkan Aikido has some 150 basic techniques which are practiced repeatedly. These enable the student to master the remaining ones which total some 3000 overall. The Yoshinkan style of Aikido emphasises the self-defence aspect of the art.