Morihei Ueshiba


Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido

Author Quotes

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).

Circles are vacant. To be vacant is to be free and unrestricted. When a center arises in vacancy, it brings forth ki. Spirit lies in the center of vacancy when this is in accord with infinite universe. Spirit is the source of whole creation, mother of eternity.

God's universal law of creation and existence is the principle that clearly reveals the precious workings of His beautiful universe. All things originate from one thing. Therefore one should observe the genuine appearance of all that exists and keeping this visage in your abdomen, make it the foundation of a larger self. As a result of this your eyes will be opened. This is where unceasing reflection and devotion to training toward spiritual goals must not be subverted by laziness in the face of duty. The result of all this is a unification of the spiritual and the physical self, a mind and body that have reached a state of accord. For people who train diligently in Aikido it becomes important to bring home to budo the laws and principles of existence, as God had intended. So doing, the pure image (a clear view) of things as they really are according to God's law becomes visible to our eyes. This insight makes it possible to create Aikido techniques because of progress in understanding the Principle of Aiki, which in turn means that no matter what subtle changes take place in the universe you will, of necessity, become aware of them. This is truly grasping the genuine appearance of things, because without this vision one can never apprehend that the continual flux of the universe takes place according to Universal Truth. And in ignorance of this truth we are unable to fully put into action our mission as human beings in this world. In order to reach the truth of reality, it is important "to Aiki" with the principle of the Universal.

In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.

Master the techniques of Aiki, the way of the Gods and no foe will ever attack.

Spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire. Be ever grateful for the gifts received from the universe, your family, Mother nature, and your fellow human beings.

The first and fundamental basis of this 'echo of the whole body' is the unification of the body and the spirit. Then, this echo must become a unity with the universal echo; the two must commune and interflow with each other in a mutual way. That is to say, this echo of the whole body which has soared up to the universe resounds against the Echo of the Universe; and this must have an effect on this physical body. The subtle variations of this echo are the wellspring of "Bu". When the echo of this body and that of the universe have become a unity heat, light and power are created. These variations utilize and make the most of the echo which changes with such subtlety. It generates ki in all things and produces life in all things and it binds them all together. It is the ripening of the "Subtle Functions of ki. "Bu" which has become fundamentally unified and gives birth to technique is the root of all martial arts. Such is the work whose aim is the great love of the joy of the universe. To give birth to the techniques of a "Bu" which achieves the moral governance of the universe is the task of Aiki.

Aikido elucidates the conditions of all creation in accordance with the Truth of the Universe. It is the accord that unifies the Truth of Heaven, the Truth of Earth and the Truth of Physical Things. For those who seek enlightenment (satori), Aikido is a Path (michi) teaching the important movements of the Single Body of the One Sword Method; it is a Path of honing and refining the self. As such, it is not something that is expressed by words or through theoretical reasoning. Rather it exists in the very echo of the totality of the Universe of Heaven and Earth.

All works are the manifestations of the concentric life force that is the origin the Universe. This means that the true form of the Universe is expressed in the Universal Principles. It is upon this universal fountainhead that practitioners of Aikido should ponder deeply. I hope that Aikido practitioners can live in this world while holding to the spirit of love and protection of all things in accordance with the Great Spirit of the Universe. The meaning of the above is simply that we must study carefully the true form of all material and spiritual phenomena in the universe, make that knowledge a part of ourselves, and use this as the base for personal enlightenment. This should be done taking care not to neglect subjecting ourselves to a constant process of reflection and continued uplifting through Tanren training. Finally, we are obliged to complete our Universal Missions. The result of the above is the unification of the body and spirit, and the creation and bodies in total harmony. Aikido is to honor the principles of the Universe as they apply to material and spiritual things alike, and to develop the spirit of love and protection of all things while realizing the importance of standing In the realm of Masa-Katsu, A-Gatsu, Katchi Haya-Bi *. Aikido, above all else requires close inspection into the true nature of the Universe.

Circles have everything at their command. The secret of a circle is to make any techniques we like come out through the center of vacancy.

Harmony and unity represent the limitless possibilities of the entire universe.

In our world there are a great number of people who do not shine with the Truth of the Universal. Many such people are not able to function in harmony with the Truth of the Universal because they are ignorant of the Laws of the Universe. As a result they are also unable to manifest their true nature as human beings to its fullest extent. This inability exerts an effect on all the various manner of beings as it is the cause of their suffering. For those people who come to realize these facts and so are determined to walk the Great Path that fosters and protects the whole universe, the way begins by aiming at unifying their own body and spirit. Polishing the soul of the Universal, they must gain control of Aikido which is the Great Way of accord between the Heavens and the Earth and which protects the Three Worlds of Reality, the Spirits and the Gods. By doing so they must illuminate the laws of the Truth of the Universal. In order to become versed in the Harmony of truth, it is vital that one not go against the Truth of the Universal.

Material science has made great strides recently, whereas spiritual science remains highly underdeveloped. This world will become peaceful when Material and Spiritual sciences are harmonized, and when order is restored to people via the Ki of the Great Universe. Needless today, it will be difficult to achieve this only via physical practice of Martial Arts and without keeping our Aikido abreast of the movements of the Universe. What upsets the universal balance, in fact, is when we forget the Original One which, in turn, creates two separate origins of both spirit and matter, following this, the Universe prospers and life and physical bodies are given to all in Creation, prior to being reared atop the Great Way of Universal Love and Protection. We then teach the rearing process of Life as the past, present and future within our lives and breaths, and are granted purity upon unifying with Heaven. For this reason, those who, practice the Martial Arts should, never forget the Spirit of the Original One, and should strive to honor this at all times. We must endeavor to fulfill our roles as people born into this world as a spiritual and material part of this greater whole. We, must, therefore, never forget that this Original One is the Great Parent of the Universe.

Sports are widely practiced nowadays, and they are good for physical exercise. Warriors, too, train the body, but they also use the body as a vehicle to train the mind, calm the spirit, and find goodness and beauty, dimensions that sports lack. Training in budo fosters valor, sincerity, fidelity, goodness, and beauty, as well as making the body strong and healthy.

The fluctuations of the universe include the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Likewise, human beings experience the four emotional states of joy, sorrow, anger and pleasure. One must not waste even an instant. One must submit to the evolution of the universe and never go against the Universal. Both growth and decay are in line with the Universal. All functions, all things, are the workings of the One-Source, the governing life force of the universe. The spirit and all things are the various activities of this single origin. All the manifested images in the universe are the truth of the Universal. Those of you who may desire to perfect the soul of the universe through Aikido should investigate deeply this source and in a way that is a suitable match for the truth of the Universal and the honored spirit of the universe, you must gain the spirit of protection toward all existence. You must draw nearer and nearer to a life that brings joy to all the living beings in this world. In this there will soon come a day when you will be met by the Great Voice of Universal Joy. This joy is a sign of the completion of one of the purposes of the act of training in Aikido. Aikido is a way that blends with the Truth of the Universal. Of course, in this Path there is no spirit of going against the Universal. That there is no spirit of resistance is a necessary element in the Great Way of the fostering and bringing to completion of life.

Aikido is Love.

Although in our present age the physical sciences have made rapid strides, the spiritual sciences do not yet exist. If the world of mankind can establish a proper accord between the physical and the spiritual sciences, and set up an environment that makes use of the ki of all creation to promote well-ordered and well-adjusted individuals, then this world will become one of peace, free from war and strife. Our Aikido must not lag behind in the effort to achieve this divine service of transformation. It is difficult to succeed in this mission if you rely on the "Bu" of the physical body alone.

Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire.

Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

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Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido