Chapter 3img Musubi: Connection

In 1925, an officer in the Japanese navy came to Professor Morihei Ueshiba's dojo to challenge him in combat. Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art of aikido, was a master already. The previous year, he had faced death in the mountains and survived due to an astounding ability to sense what was happening around him. But this was another kind of challenge: an ordinary one-on-one fight, like dozens, if not hundreds of others both men had experienced over the course of their lives.

This naval officer was armed with a sword. Ueshiba faced him unarmed, standing before this skilled swordsman with nothing but his body and his calm mind. The swordsman attempted blow after blow. Each time he moved, Ueshiba moved, easily dodging his opponent's sword. The fight went on like this until the swordsman gave up, exhausted. The first and greatest master of aikido won this battle without striking a single blow.

Afterward, Ueshiba refused to gloat. “It was nothing,” he said: ...

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