In 1903, at the onset of the war between Russia and Japan he enlists in the infantry. Discharged a few years later he studies fencing at the Yagyu School in Sakai (near Osaka) and granted a certificate in 1908.
In 1910, he leaves with a group of settlers for Hokkaido, the big Island to the north of the Japanese archipelago. He encounters Sokaku Takeda, a renowned master of Daito Jiu-jitsu and becomes his student. He is initiated to the secrets of the sect and more so to the essence of budo. He becomes a certified instructor in 1916. In 1918 shortly before his father¿s death, he encounters Degushi Onisaburo, founder of a Shinto sect and a dedicated pacifist who will become his spiritual leader. He turns to meditation and prayers while still teaching Budo. This is the awakening of a long spiritual quest.
After the war Aikido opens up to all. It expands rapidly in Japan first then, starting in the mid fifties in Asia, Hawaii and later in the western world with the dispatching of permanent instructors abroad. On April 26, 1969 the Great Master passed away. He was 86. His son Kisshomaru succeeded him until his death in 1999 and his great grand son Moriteru thereafter.