Monday, March 5, 2012

Aikido no Michi

       The path of Aikido is very powerful. If you practice diligently and sincerely, your growth will be deep and even visible from week to week, month to month, and especially from year to year. If however, you have been practicing for several years and the ability to realize wisdom and power has evaded you, you must seek out the obstruction to progress in your daily life.
            Aikido can’t be taught, yet if the proper method of practicing is followed, it will be realized as actual ability and wisdom. Even grasping the deepest secrets however, if your heart and mind are not correct, you will be unable to realize it. In the words of the founder, “Realization of the Divine Spirit is accomplished through practice. If there is the smallest separation from the Divine Spirit then the way is not being followed.”
            The path of Aikido unfolds as the function of spirit, mind, and body. Spirit is Makoto, honesty to yourself and others with no procrastination or excuses. Mind is the power of intention that manifest the power of ki. Body is the shrine, or temple, of our existence, the vehicle that we use to train the mind and spirit. The way should be as natural as getting up and putting your feet on the ground, yet without maintaining purity of body and mind it becomes like the words of Zen master Ummon, “To sweep out the garden, who has the strength. “

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Divine Cross

It is a uniqueness of universal order and principle that the simplest physical reality is eventually revealed as containing the highest wisdom and spirituality. In Aikido this is to stand properly and become the perfect receiver. Your ultimate response can only be correct to the degree that you have achieved this. This is no small feat.
It begins with what is called ki extension. Stretching the spine upward and down to become rooted in both Heaven and earth, you establish yourself at the center of the six directions. This is Irimi, the spirit of Aikido; sending your ki out in all directions to infinity; our own intention meeting and merging with the universal will. O-sensei called it the “Divine Cross.” This is the kototama of Tou or Tao, in Japanese pronounced Dou. It is the fulfillment of Michi, the highest level of Aikido. It is also the elimination of duality, or separation. It is called Gokui, “exteme will” or “radical faith.”

Saturday, January 28, 2012


The aikido of a true master will always appear to be fake. In fact if it looks real it is nothing more than the use of unreasonable force to manipulate another person. This is not truly aikido. The reason for this is that the arms, which create visible form, are not used in bringing your partner down or throwing. Bringing your partner down is the result of projecting your intention, or ki, from your Hara and the trunk of your body down and through your partner’s body to his spine.
            The trunk of the body is where the ki of Heaven and Earth function vertically, rising and descending. The arms and legs are the ki of water and fire, rising up and branching out horizontally. This distinction should be clearly understood if one is to practice properly. Standing at the center of these forces as the neutral receiver, real aikido becomes possible. Herein lies the real meaning behind O-sensei’s use of the words, “No Enemy.”