On Aikido training

  1. Aikido can determine life or death with a single blow; therefore, when training, observe the directions of the instructor and do not engage in contests of strength.
  2. Aikido is a Way that makes one person the equivalent of thousands; therefore, when training, always be mindful not only of the space in front of you, but also what is happening in all directions.
  3. Training should always be an enjoyable experience.
  4. An instructor can only impart a portion of the teachings. To be able to use a technique, you must learn it through diligent and ceaseless training. Only then will you begin to remember with your body. It is pointless to desire to learn many techniques. To master a technique, you must make it your own.
  5. Daily training begins with Tai no Henko. Gradually increase the intensity of your training. Make sure not to overexert your body. Even older persons should not injure themselves. Continue to train enjoyably and strive to realize the purpose of training.
  6. Aikido is training of the mind and body. Its purpose is to produce sincere people. Since all techniques are entirely secret, you should not reveal them indiscriminately to the public. The improper use of any technique by ill-mannered persons is to be avoided.

An excerpt from the 1938 Training Manual, “Budo”, by the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Translated by Mark L. Larson.