Morihei Ueshiba


Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido

Author Quotes

Aikido was realized out of the principles of Ten (Heaven), Chi (Earth) and Jin (Man). As such, a deep understanding of the mysterious workings of the Great Way of the Universe, Kotodama, is necessary. At the same time, this Way is the path to true peace on Earth, and the realization of the Pure Land in this World. This requires that, as people practicing this Way, we must at all times keep the extreme truth beauty, purity and good that is the heart of the Great Love of the Universe close in mind. The laws of the Universe, likewise, govern the Great Way of Bu (The Martial Way). We must, therefore, investigate the Great Way of Bu of old, while taking care not to in any way defile the spirit of the Bu practiced by martial people previously. This means that we must think deeply about the spirit of previous martial practitioners. This, in turn, means to know the meaning of this search. By searching in this way, everything will always be new. Together with the motions of the Universe that are, themselves, made new each day, so must the Way of The Martial be practiced with the intention of Creating it anew in this world and in the Universe each day.

By deeply taking into the physical body and completely digesting these delicate variations of the breath, the body will activate their works. It will then be able to display the workings of the multitudinous changes and alterations of divinely-ordained variation. On achieving this state, the viscera, one's very bowels, will for the first time generate and connect with heat, light and power. Things are as our spirit/mind intends and it becomes easy to unify one's self with the Universal. It is, in fact, by means of being able to freely perceive these subtle variations of the breath that the techniques of Aikido are born. They set up a wave action in the ki of the vacuum; a wave pattern that, depending on whether it is extremely strong or perhaps rather sluggish, forms the origins of the various things within the universe. It is by means of the strength or weakness of this wave action that the solidification Or settling of the body can be known. All technique must be in accord with the basic Laws of the Universe and any technique which is not will totally destroy the body. Such technique is unable to tie in with the universe and for this reason could never be "Takemusu Aiki' (Bu-generating Aiki). Bu which can tie in with the universe is a Bu with the grace of a Love that binds together all humanity horizontally. Martial activities (Bu) that are able to connect with the universe we may call "Takemusu Martial Arts."

Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.

In answer to the question of where this center resides, one must reply that it is within the Self. Without applying the true strength that results from application of all of the wisdom and sense at one's disposal, Aiki is truly difficult.

Like the light that pierces the darkness, you must discipline yourself with ever deepening training [keiko].

Realizing the harmony of the Universe on earth is by no means easy; and, yet, we have been given bodies and spirits precisely for that purpose. Holding to the spirit the Universe, I think this means that we are obligated to proceed towards true peace on Earth. Aikido developed out of the harmonization of the principles of traditional sword, pike and body techniques. Aikido is not, however, meant to be used to defeat others, make one victorious in all encounters or even make victory without confrontation possible. Aikido is simply intended to make one victorious over one's Universal Mission. Put another way, Aikido is to proceed along with the motions of the Universe. It is essential to know the truth and good of this. Thinking in these terms, it becomes important to conduct one's Shugyo-training while always bearing the motions of the Universe in mind i.e., to look closely at the true image of the Universe. Next. it becomes important to re-create this true image of the Universe deep within oneself. It would appear that the world is full of people uninterested in the true form of the Universe and, moreover, that suffering results from a lack of matching with the Laws of the Universe. This is why we must strive to mount the Great Way of Universe. This is also why we must unify our bodies and minds, honor the 3 Worlds (Visible. Hidden and Divine) and govern using the Great Way of Peace on Earth.

The cause of the upheaval in this world is unmindfulness of the Origin of the Single Source. This Single Source is that which give birth to the Spiritual Origin and the Physical Origin. It produces all of the many complex and subtle Laws of Nature. It is that which governs the entire universe, giving substance and life to all existing things. Moreover, it builds up the Great Path of creation and development for the loving protection and nurturing of everything that is. The entire Universe is a single household; it is like a single body. The past, present and the future, as our life and our breath, teach us the way to transform humanity, and present us with a purified governance that unites us in a paradise where life is pleasant. For all these reasons, trainees of "Bu" must never lose sight of the Origin of the Single Source. They must always preserve an attitude of wholehearted sincerity.

Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.

All creatures on earth can be united with each other, brought up and protected by circles. Happenings in the world are also from the movement of circles, and bu in Aikido is one of them.

By its essential nature, Aikido is most fundamentally a Way to achieve. unification, binding together all humanity to create one grand and harmonious unity. Aikido speaks of works of love for all creatures that are living. The created forms of the universe are the results of these works of love. In fact, they foster and protect all the things of creation, purify them, and cause them to experience creative development. We serve this mission of universal love in fostering and perfecting creation when we strive on this earth through Aiki. The Universal has sown the cosmos with seeds of creative development, and possess a limitless power to cause them to proliferate. There is a method that will manifest the eternal destiny that makes up the warp and weave of the Universe, and bring about the love of that Universe on this earth. That method is named Aikido. By binding together the three worlds of Ken, Ye and Shin (Manifestations, Essences and Divinity) in harmonized unity, and storing them up in our lower abdomen we must press forward in the mission which has been assigned to us in this life.

From ancient times deep learning and Budo have been twin wheels of the path. Through the virtue of practice enlighten both the body and soul. 30 years ago I was extremely weak of body. At that time I secretly harbored a dream. In this dream I wanted to be the strongest man in all of Japan ? no, more than that, in the entire world! I decided I would become the possessor of a martial power unequaled by anyone. With this dream before me I trained severely. One day a navy man confronted me, a person said to be a 7th dan holder in Kendo. Strangely, as I faced him I felt as if my body was surrounded by a shining brightness and I easily secured victory.

In essence, the sword is the soul of a warrior and a manifestation of the true nature of the universe; thus, when you draw a sword you are holding your soul in your hands. Know that when two warriors face each other with swords, the body and soul of each individual is illuminated as they come together in a world that needs to be rid of falsehood and evil. An enemy that appears along the Great Path of divinely inspired swordsmanship enables a warrior to activate universal principles, and thus serves as an aid to the harmonization of all elements of heaven and earth, body and soul? glories that endure forever.

Man must realize that he is the 'Senses of Creation', and that the Universe and he are one. Working the child Of the Universe (or, as the person of religion would say, the Divine Child of God), we must give our utmost for this world in order to prevent it from falling into chaos. This, in turn, requires that we give way to everything. We must put ourselves always behind others. We must, in this way, bring everything in creation to life. This way of Aiki brings Spirit together with Spirit. Aiki extends the way of the macrocosmic life force of the Universe together with the Divine Form of Order to the macrocosmic animate forms of the animal world. Aikido is the way of making the above clear. Aikido is the way of making this one's own.

Regarding technique, from ancient times it has been said that movements must fly like lightning and attacks must strike like thunder.

The delicate variations of the inhaling and exhaling of the breath, called kokyu, are the parents which give birth to the Subtle Functions of Ki. These are the root source of the Bu, the martial element. By means of the Subtle Functions of Ki unify the spirit and the body then when Aikido is performed one can realize the delicate variations in the breath. It is this that will cause technique to appear of its own free accord. These variation of the breath blend with the ki of the universe (ki-musubi), generate life (iku-musubi), and then cause the cord to be tied (o-musubi). Moreover, the subtle variations of the breath are absorbed deeply into this body of the five parts, and through this coming in the physical body moves with great liveliness, becoming capable of displaying the movements of the kaleidoscopic variations of deification. This is something different from simple technical variation. When this is achieved, heat, light and power are generated and tied together then for the first time in the five organs and the six viscera, the very depths of the physical body. Things become as your spirit/mind wills them to be and it is an easy thing to become one-body with the universe. By becoming aware of these subtle variations in the breath the individual person will imbibe the techniques of Aikido.

Aiki requires one to proceed down both the way of the body and the way of the physical together. Aiki is a manifestation of Truth itself, and harmonizes everything that appears in this world by absorbing them in love. In order to realize true world peace, it is imperative that we become one with Absolute Love and Absolute Sincerity. This means that if someone gets mad at you harmonize with them. Another word for Bushi (Warrior) in Japanese is Samurai, which means someone who abides by the way of Love. Someone who simply fights with others is not a true Samurai. I want to proceed ahead with the movements of Love by training ourselves in both body and spirit to serve as the pillars of society.

All humanity encompassed with accord; coordinated, unitary, blended into oneness; a union of god and man, the human and the divine formed into a single body without doing harm to either?in this will be found the limitless development and perfection of the Great Universe in its Entirety. The word 'Bu', Martial endeavors, is written with a character that implies to stop the battling halberds. It is the mission of true martial practitioners (shin no bujin) to play a role in achieving this goal. The Universe has charged the "shin no bujin", the so-called budoka, with a heavy task. By carrying out this most meaningful vocation, it will be possible to tie together the universe in accord and unity, thereby bringing peace to this world. In other words, we must awaken to the principle of the Way" which leads us to harmony and unity and is an expression of the singularity which exists when man strips away that which separates him from the Universe and displays its entirety within his very form. In such a reductive unity, in the harmony of this oneness, we find a great and precious principle, a fundamental law that is bestowed on us by the Universal. In truth, it expresses the spirit of the universe which unifies and harmonizes. Our Aikido is, likewise, one Great Path and Principle which unites the whole of the universe in harmonious accord.

By Means of the Echo of the Body Give Birth to Heat, Light and Power. When one had unified the echo of the body with that of the universe, heat, light and power are generated. There is a martial unity which utilizes the subtle variations of this in order to ki-musubi with everything, to iki-musubi and to tie the cord connecting all. So doing it learns the "Subtle Functions of Ki" and by becoming one with the underlying root of unity it gives birth to technique. This Bu is the true meaning of the word. This is the Great Love of happiness and the true purposeful movement of the Universe. It is the mission of Aiki to bring about a Bu that encompasses the proper governance of the universe.

God feels uneasy when confined in the small wooden house we call a shrine. he likes to manifest himself everywhere in the whole universe. Let us ask him to be in each of us. Once God is within us, we come to know that, today is in the past, and in the future too, and that both the past and the future are in today as well.

In front the enemy prepares to attack, but behind him, I am already standing.

Many people seem to be under the impression that I have never lost or encountered any failures. This is not true; I have, in fact, many failures in my past, most of which were caused by weak-heartedness. On one occasion I traveled to Kanagawa prefecture to give a demonstration of Aiki together with instruction at the local police department. I was greeted there by my partner, who turned out to be a tall Judo instructor. At one point during the session when I was trying to explain a certain point my partner resisted, and I damaged his wrist. As a result of this experience, however, I was given an important spiritual lesson of not acting contrary to the Way, and of maintaining love for one's partner at all times. It was after this that I determined to completely adopt a position of truly benevolent love. Another failure in my past came during a visit to a small fishing village while traveling around the countryside. There I encountered a stout amateur sumo wrestler who was a good 6 feet in height weighing well over 200 pounds. He quickly challenged me to a fight, and I accepted. I was not defeated, yet was unable to grab hold of him, owing to the sweat that made his body extremely slippery. In time, we both began to tire, at which point I then discovered the mysterious way of controlling someone with a single fingertip by manipulating their Ki. In this way, the Aiki Principle of Tanren training was born. Looking back over the past this way, you will note that I experienced many failures. And yet, with each failure came a new lesson or technique, the cumulative result of which was the completion of the Way of Aiki. There are, in addition to these stories, numerous others about life-or-death situations in which I was attacked by people with wooden Bokken swords or, in some cases, live blades. It was through these various experiences that I was able to enter into the: Way of Shugyo training that I continue to practice today.

Shihonage is the foundation of Aikido. All you ever need to master is shihonage.

The essence of the Art of Peace is to cleanse yourself of maliciousness, to get in tune with your environment, and to clear your path of all obstacles and barriers.

Aikido does not rely on weapons or brute force to succeed; instead we put ourselves in tune with the universe, maintain peace in our own realms, nurture life, and prevent death and destruction. The true meaning of the term "samurai" is one who serves and adheres to the power of love.

All of us share in and are a part of the body and the mission of the Single Source. As residents of this earth we are obliged to do our part in the proper management of our world. We must never forget the spirit/mind (kokoro) of the Single Source of the Universe. It is the very center of all. When we lose the origin, the workings of the world collapse in disarray. Because there is a center, we are able to define outer contours. When there is an interior, we perceive an exterior form. This means that where there is a center, the interior and the exterior dimensions become one in unity. We must never forget the spirit/mind of the Universe which operates as if managed by a single and divine heart (kokoro).

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Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido