Morihei Ueshiba


Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido

Author Quotes

The total unification and harmonization of the Three World of Appearances, Essences, and the Gods must be carried out. Likewise, the human race must join together in accord and unity. Only by creating a joyous world of finest beauty we are able to live up to the true and main responsibility of Aiki. Remember, the Great Principle of Budo is found on a path that governs the world in peace, and through harmony and unification brings about a pleasant existence on this globe. Budo is the "Way" to perfection.

True Budo is done for the sake of 'building peace'. Train every day so as to make peace between this spirit [Budo] and all things manifested on the face of the Earth.

When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.

The very first step toward the creation of the Bu of Takemusu is the Echo. We expand the spear of the echo of this physical body out into the universe by way of the power of "Ah an" [the inhaling and exhaling of breath, the alpha and the omega, or the mantra "om"]. That which is revealed in the form of the echo of the physical body is "musubi" (to generate, create). It is the original element of all that exists And it is this original element which is the primary principal in the germination of the unlimited variations that manifest the forms of martial activity.

True Budo is practiced not only to destroy an enemy, it must also make him, or his own will, gladly lose his spirit (seishin) to oppose you.

With spirit in its center, a circle contains elements which would create numerous techniques. Circles are rich and abundant by nature.

The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter ? it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.

True Budo is the cultivation of a power of attraction. Capable of absorbing the opponent?s entire being. Therefore it is enough for me to merely stand in this way.

Within the subtle variations and flux of the universe there are spring, summer, autumn and winter, just as we humans feel joy or anger, love and pleasure. As much as possible we must diligently work so that second by second the eternal fluctuations of the universe become the same, a continuum. As I said before, all the laws of the universe have a single root or origin, the great workings of which are the Universal Truth. Those who would train in Aikido should research deeply the functions of this original, unitary principle, and so imbibe Universal Truth; in other words to become more and more like the spirit of loving protection of all things which is something that never misses being aware of anything.

The world of today is a world where materialism prevails. However, there would be another world if our spirit were to dominate the material. It is now the time when the spirit should step forward and displace mere things as the center of our lives. So long as the spirit is in the background, the world will remain in a disastrous state. Trainees of martial arts should comprehend all the phenomena of the universe from the angle of bu. For example, we can learn from a mountain stream how to manage ourselves when confronted with various obstacles. The innumerable techniques of Aikido can originate from anything on earth. Train yourself carefully without overlooking even the most trivial transition of nature. When the mind and body are in oneness, a man assimilates with the universe, and echoes are exchanged between the two. Those echoes bring the heat, light and power from which Bu originates. Therefore, the mission of Aikido is to produce Bu which is resonant with the echo of the Universe.

True victory is self-victory!

You must maneuver your opponent so that he is drained of his fighting spirit. He will then move in on you as you wish and you should then be able to handle him at will.

There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit - love.

Unifying the Echo of the Body with the Echo of the universe. The echo of the body is in the first place the foundation of the unifying of the spirit/mind and the physical body. It is necessary that this echo be made one with the echo of the universe and that the two mutually interact. If you wonder why this is so, it is because having appeared within the universe the echo of the body reverberates against the universal echo and to do so one must possess a body that has strong power. The subtle variations and alteration of this echo are the root source of Bu.

Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world.

The ideal economy combines the spiritual and the material, and the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love.

There are times when you may be overwhelmed by the teachings of the Way. At such moments, it is important to continue with the original spirit of a beginner.

Unite your mind and body, and proceeding on, you will lay the foundation from which technique originates. Your technique will then spring up without limits through your nen -, the thoughts, feelings and desires within. Needless to say all technique (waza) must be in harmony with the principles of the Universe. This can only happen when you possess the proper nen. When you accumulate the right kind of training it must be done with the correct nen. Should your nen be tied up with improper, selfish desires your training will come to nothing. This is the evil or perverted way.

Your mental activity must never conflict with the universe, for in doing so "ki" is broken. To cut off the "nen" of this body from the universe is unthinkable. Should thoughts in conflict with the Universal occur, then surely ruin will befall the physical self. The refinement of your thoughts, feelings and passions occurs through an unconscious unification with the Universal. Again, through tying in with the "Subtle Functions of Ki" your left side becomes the foundation for "Bu" while the right side acts as the base for manifestations of the blending of "ki" as received from the universe. If you first consummate the blending of these two, the left and the right, then you are able to live a free existence and act at will. Enter the realm of freedom of existence by making the left the root and basis of "Bu", then you will experience the lightness of a body transformed by the Divine. The right puts forth the main force through the left. Correspondingly, the left is your shield and the right the basis for forming technique. This is the Law of Nature. With this Law implanted in your "hara" (lower abdomen), it is necessary to move freely, adapting to every circumstance.

The kokyu breath sets up waves of motions or undulations in the ki of the vacuum of space. Depending on whether these waves are vigorous or sluggish the various origins in the universe are brought into being. Likewise according to the liveliness or dullness of these sinuous waves, the coagulation or solidification of the spirit and the body is known. When the congealing of the kokyu breath overflows to the spirit/mind and the physical body, the breath then becomes one with the universe in a natural way, whether or not all goes as you yourself wills it to be, and you will feel it spread out spherically into the universe. Then, after that, you feel the kokyu which has once expanded to the universe recondenses back into the self. When you have become capable of this sort of kokyu breath, the spiritual reality/essence will concentrate in the area around yourself where you will perceive its presence. This very thing is your guidepost for the first step toward the Subtle Functions of Aiki. These subtle uses are necessities if Aiki is to be drawn out in a spontaneous and unwilled fashion. When one has become skilled in leading the subtle applications of Aiki one may realize the honored virtue of Holy Creation. The breath will ascend upward in a rightward spinning spiral and descend again in a leftward spinning spiral, giving birth to the blending of water and fire. The continuous productive activity of friction is also produced. Means (Iki-musubi means the joining of the opposing divine elements representing the physical and spiritual aspects of life and is a homonym for the word life, "iki," and for the word breath, "iki." Musubi, is also homonym with possible meanings of blend/tie together; or generate/produce.) Sui-ka no musubi (water and fire musubi) is the ultimate root source of the multitude of things in the universe; it is without substance and limitless in its infinity. In the end it is the ability to bring forth this continuously productive. activity of friction that will allow you to grasp the essence of Aiki.

There is no enemy in Aikido. It is wrong to think that having an opponent or an enemy, or trying to be stronger than him and trying to overpower him is true budo. True budo has no opponent, True budo has no enemy. True budo is to become one with the universe. The purpose of Aikido practice is not to become strong, nor is it to fell an opponent. Rather, it is necessary to have one's heart at the center of the universe, than as little as it may be, help maintain peace among the peoples of the earth. Aikido is both like a compass that enables each person to realize his own individual destiny, as well as a way of unity and love.

Use the one to strike the Many!

The left has the ability to give birth to unlimited amounts of "ki." and since the right functions to blend with what is received, it has the ability to grasp all that the left can produce. Should you realize this balanced, reciprocating interaction, with your left hand you can grasp life and death and with your right cause them to cease. This is the "Kamiwaza." the divine technique.

There is no technique of killing in true Bu, which is based upon the spiritual world. True Bu does not need any weapons. It absorbs everything with bare hands and has a perfect command of the opponent. Aiming to be in accord with the dispensation of nature, true Bu makes more of spiritual training than technical skill. That is what Aikido has as its principle

We should not depend too greatly upon the Six Senses. While Buddhism talks of purifying the Six Senses, it should be understood that the senses are made available to our physical bodies in order that we can observe the brilliance of the phenomenal world. Even at this level of perception, it is necessary to clear the way for the Six Senses. Should we fail to keep them clear, they will clog and only let in static. This, in turn, causes the Six Senses to move in the entirely wrong direction. In a word, this is the beginning of a disrupted world. To upset the harmony of this world is the greatest of all evils. To prevent this from happening, all one has to do is to cleanse one's heart and brighten the way of the Spirit to enable the Six Senses to operate freely. Once this is accomplished, the Six Senses become light itself and manifest on the surface. Once the Six Senses begin to emit light, everything is made into the vibrations of the Spirit. The Self, then, begets things; the internal freely flows into the external, and vice-versa; everything heretofore on the outside becomes understood together with the Self. When viewed from the perspective of the Self we sense that all material things belong to the same universal family. One's spiritual training is, thus, not something to be taught to the other members of this family. It is, rather, to be practiced with them. In the process of this shared spiritual training, I think it then becomes necessary to put others ? everything and everyone ? before oneself. Should you first know yourself you will come to understand all. Everything in the Universe is, in other words included in the Self. This is the reason for the Self's existence. This is also why it is possible to clarify the natural (original) instincts of the Self. It is at this point that we then commence work on our individual missions. Such work cannot, however, be performed alone, and is only possible because of the entire Universe. It is, therefore, imperative that we understand the relationship between Self and the realm I speak of.

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Japanese Martial Artist and Founder of Aikido