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Aikido is ai (love). You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you must make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish this mission must be the true budo. True budo means to win over yourself and eliminate the fighting heart of the enemy… No, it is a way to absolute self-perfection in which the enemy no longer exists. The technique of Aiki is ascetic training and a way through which you reach a state of unification of body and spirit by the realization of the principles of heaven.
     – Ueshiba Morihei O’Sensei, The Founder of Aikido

The art and path of Aikido was researched and taught by Morihei Ueshiba, known as O’Sensei. Through practicing circular movements for the restoration of harmony out of conflict, the Aikidoist develops a sensitivity for flowing with universal energy, Ki, applicable not only to the physical realm of attacks, but also to communication skills. The following is a very brief explanation of several of the most central principles of Aikido. For more information, please refer to the World Headquarters site or any of the links. Another summary of Aikido training and centering can be found at Aikido Online.

Aikido is a martial art which teaches one to flow with natural energy, allowing conflict to be managed in such a way as to bring about the restoration of harmony. This is accomplished in three phases: Immobilization/Off-balancing to prevent an attacker from advancing; Control by leading an attacker in a safer direction, and the Restoration of Harmony by working together with the attacker to the point where he/she is no longer a threat. This may only be accomplished if one maintains his/her own balance throughout the conflict. In a verbal argument, this means “keeping your cool,” staying specific, and not exaggerating the situation. Likewise, in a physical confrontation, it involves staying centered, using the minimal amount of power necessary to resolve the conflict without doing harm, and avoiding the extension of an attack beyond the point of control.

In the simple case of a head-on conflict, the general principle is to move off the line of attack just enough so that the attack misses and then to attain confluence with the attacker. This action creates imbalance for the attacker, resulting in a momentary pause. This is a critical moment. The aikidoist uses this pause, when the attacker is overextended to resolve the conflict. If he/she fights back, rather than leading the attacker into the flow, it would allow the attacker to regain balance and attack again.

At Aikijuku Dojo in Lenexa

Our Martial Arts Instructors Promise To

Be Dedicated
Be leaders of love, not fear
Treat each child with respect
Empower our members
Help members reach their goals

Martial Arts Instructors

Words of the Founder, Ueshiba Morihei Osensei
“In true budo, there are no enemies.  True budo is love (愛).  It is not for killing or for fighting, but for fostering and completing creation.  Love protects and nourishes life.  Without love, nothing can be accomplished.  Aikido is the manifestation of love.
Life is growth.  If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.  The Art of Peace is a celebration of the bonding of heaven, earth and humankind.  It is all that is true, good, and beautiful.”

“Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching.  It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to life.”

“Those who are enlightened never stop forging themselves.  The realizations of such masters cannot be expressed well in words or by theories.  The most perfect actions echo the patterns found in nature.”

“If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks.  And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along a path indicated to you by heaven and earth.”

“Your spirit is the true shield.”

“Ultimately, you must forget about technique.  The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are.  The great path is really no path.
True victory is victory over oneself, winning at the speed of light – this is Aikido.”

Our instructors take these words to heart!

Ryoichi Kinoshita Sensei

Relaxation through Centering

Grace and poise are maintained by moving with the natural flow of energy, in much the same way that a spinning top maintains its position and balance by constant spiral motion on the axis of its’ one point. The faster a top spins, the more balanced and motionless it appears to be. Conversely, an off-balance person is like a record with an off-center hole, awkward and becoming more and more unbalanced, the more it moves.

A centered person possesses the stability of the universe. The universe is dynamic, continuously moving and spiraling. Anything on the edge, moves quickly and easily. An uncentered attack would naturally spin off of such a stable revolving mass. Thus, maintaining one’s center and perfecting the natural motion of the spiral are central to aikido. As attacks could come at any time, an aikidoist practices maintaining his/her center and moving naturally whether walking, sitting, eating, speaking or practicing.
To remain centered, one must not become upset by external stimuli such as loud sounds, motions or other distractions, nor by internal stimuli such as pain or passing thoughts. Remaining relaxed and calm at all times not only allows more natural and safe responses to conflict (be it a sword blade coming at one’s head or a verbal attack of an irate co-worker/family member), but also allows one to better appreciate his/her surroundings, leading to peace inside as well as outside.

 

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