Aikido has nothing to do with the techniques and forms

O-sensei was often angry during his class, saying, “Don’t be contrived.” When we practice the same technique repeatedly and get used to it, we often anticipate the opponents’ moves and block or avoid the technique unnaturally, even unconsciously. He called it “unnatural” or “contrived” and disliked it so much. He repeatedly said “You have to be natural.”

— Hiroshi Tada, 『開祖の横顔』pp267

This quote really got me thinking about what Maruyama sensei said “ Aikido has nothing to do with the techniques and forms, when you realise this you will understand the founders “aikido”….

The formulation of Aikido into any syllabus destroyed its essence. It was the founders students that did this to make it marketable. Those that wish to understand the essence need to be free of such marketing. Of course some basics are needed, but attachment, or more importantly, continued attachment to such things is a trap.

Shoshin is paramount as it allows the practitioner, once grounded in solid basics, to explore the essence of what Budo means to them.

No single moment is ever repeated.

Peter Kelly

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