Honest attack

If you do this…….

No matter how good the sensei is, if the person who is attacking is not honest, it is difficult to handle the situation as freely as he would like.

If you are honest and give your body and soul to the teacher, he will give you everything.

If you resist even only a little bit, it means that you are disobeying the teacher’s will and are not following his ki.

If your body and mind are able to adapt to what the teacher is doing without any resistance, then the essence of the teacher’s both physical and mental teaching has been transmitted to you as it is. There is no other way to learn the essence of the teacher. It is not knowledge, but an unconscious intrinsic ability that is stored in the body itself.


In any case, in order to receive what emanates from the heart of the teacher, you have to empty yourself. If there is any self-consciousness such as doubt, desire, discrimination, judgment, etc. left, it is like putting a stopper at the entrance of the vessel, and you will never be able to receive his will. It’s not that a part of it overflows, but the whole thing refuses to enter, not even a drop.

This is the important part, and we must keep it in mind.


One of the last words from my teacher is, “When there is nothing, it is transmitted from the master to the deshi (student).

I believe this means that it is essential for the transmission of the michi (道) that the mind of the master and the mind of the deshi (student) be united in an unobstructed fusion, that they be able to communicate with each other.

Then you can understand this…..

.. Shin no Bu towa Aite no zenbou wo Kyushu shiteshimau – inryoku no renma de aru ..

“true budo is to absorb the totality of the Partner – it is the training of inryoku.” O’Sensei

“Harigaya Sekiun created the term Ai-nuke to describe his condition attained through sword. It is the world of ABSOLUTE PEACE THAT TRANSCENDS WINNING AND LOSING.(sound familiar again……). It is a different dimension from aiuchi.

WE SHOULD CONSIDER IT A CRUCIAL TREASURE LEFT BY A MAN OF ANCIENT TIMES………………….you must transcend dualism and enter into the realm of Ai-nuke.

But there is a problem.

It is no good just to INTELLECTUALISE the concept of Ai-nuke.

This is a very important point.

If you do not have the background and strength of aiuchi, you cannot enter the realm of Ai-nuke…………if you have not mastered aiuchi, it is impossible to learn Ai-nuke”

Omori Roshi

Tsuki hara Bokuden – ichi no tachi (one cut)

Kamiizumi nobutsuna – fumetsu- no kokoro (eternal mind)

Miyamoto Musashi – Iwao no mi ( body of stone(immovability)

Harigaya Sekuin – mujushin (non abiding mind)

Kamiya Denshinsai – jikishin (upright heart )

Yamaoka Tesshu – semui (giver of fearlessness)

All these masters left teachings that show a transcendental state of mind.

“The aikido which I am doing now is a path that builds people A WAY OF FORGING AND TEMPERING THE BODY AND SPIRIT (this is TANREN).

It is not a way that injures others, nor is it one that wields against them the evil sword of death.

I humbly ask that you, too, give deep thought to these considerations.

The training in Aiki concerns itself most with the practicing of KI-GATA(the forms and movement of Ki) and the method of perfecting them.

The most important element in true Ki-gata is the quality of shinken shobu(quite literally a fight to the death with real swords – it implies a certain seriousness of your attitude whilst training).

In budo there is no so called “Shiai” or competitive matches of the type seen in sports.

If we were to have matches, in true Budo they must become life and death situations.”


“In Aikido, before one’s opponent comes, one absorbs the intentions of his spirit/mind into oneself to control it freely. That is to say, the workings of a spiritual gravity(inryoku no tanren) makes progress. One sees the world all at once. Today, as yet, almost nobody is able to do this. I haven’t reached it, either.”

O Sensei in Aikido News issue 4

“What do you think aikido is? Do you think it involves only the twisting of hands? It is a means of war… an act of war! aikido is a fight with real swords. (Shinken shobu)We use the word ‘aiki’ because through it we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately. Look at Sumo. After the command is given (“Miatte! Miatte!), they stand up and go at each other in a flash. That’s the same as aiki. When a person suddenly faces his enemy in an mental state free from all ideas and thoughts and is instantly able to deal with him, we call that aiki. In the old days it was called ‘aiki no jutsu’.”


Would you say that O-Sensei had changed during the war years?

Yes. His thinking about Budo had changed radically. And the way he related to people also changed. His fierce gaze had become more tender. One felt more like getting closer to him. It was as you see in photos taken in his old age. His eyes were still strict, but they were no longer so scary.

After the war, O-Sensei’s thinking about waza also changed enormously. Before the war, the purpose of waza had been to kill the attacker. And we had practiced like that. After the war, he urged us not to attack opponents or to think of beating them up. “If you do that,” he said, “it will be the same as before. I have changed how we do everything.”

O-Sensei told us that we must give our opponents joy. To do this, he said, we must become capable of immediately sensing their ki. And, to do this, we must unify ourselves, we must unify our words, our body, and our mind. We must become one with the workings of all things in the universe — with Kami and the forces of Nature. We must bring all three things — words, body, and mind — into harmony with the workings of the universe. “If you do that,” O-Sensei said, “true Budo will be born. The Budo of destroying others will become transformed into the Budo of offering joy and compassion to others.”

After the war, did O-Sensei also change how he taught?

The method of practice was the opposite of what it had been. We no longer attacked. We looked at our partners’ ki in order to see the whole of them. From the top of their head to the tips of their toes. Not just external appearances. We needed to become able to absorb our partners’ minds.

Training this way was more difficult. We couldn’t wait for a partner to attack. We had to have the ability to instantly perceive the partner’s suki (openings) and intent to attack.Where will they strike? How will they move? We had to train to cultivate these sensing abilities in ourselves.

Now all the techniques I teach are those of the postwar period. They are the true waza of O-Sensei’s Aikido.

If we look at our partners, our hearts will be taken by them. Never look in their eyes. If we look in our partners’ eyes, our minds will be snatched away by their eyes. If we look at our opponent’s weapon, our ki will be stolen by that weapon. So, we must not stare at our partners.

If we are always one with the universe, one with great nature, there is no space for the opponent to attack.

When opponents do try to attack, we must not rely on form alone, but spontaneously create technique.

In the old days, when the opponent attacked, we parried the blow and drove forward. After the war, things changed. The instant the opponent raised his arm to strike, even as he was raising his arm, we were already changing position. We had to act quickly. To do it well, we had to become one with nature and move without thinking.

Another aspect of postwar Aikido was O-Sensei’s even greater emphasis on shinji for spiritual purification at the beginning of every practice session. He’d always begin with purification.

Mitchio Hikitsuchi interview on Aikido Journal

“The basis of aikido is “kokyu power.” The term kokyu power existed before the word aikido began to be used. Therefore, unless you are able to employ your own kokyu power completely, and demonstrate, explain and teach it clearly, it is nothing but a mysterious term. I wrote a book entitled, The Spirit of Aikido: Kokyu Power after having been persuaded that it was this that was the true kokyu power. Kokyu is the source of the life of all things. However, no one breathes in and out consciously. If you breathe consciously, it is because your life is in danger. Kokyu power is created when infinite matter emerges through one’s body. Therefore, you must have a mind which accepts infinite matter. You must not let your opponent enter there [in your mind]. Since it is the immense power of kokyu, which gives life to all things in Nature, and is manifest through one’s body. You must not entertain selfish desires. Moreover, you should not have an egoistic attachment where you try to defeat your opponent. Kokyu power cannot emerge without a pure mind. One’s techniques cannot improve unless the world of spirit likewise grows. If you acquire true kokyu power, your opponent who attacks with an evil heart seeking to defeat you will lead himself to destruction. It is possible to reach that point. That was what Morihei Ueshiba Sensei taught. We have to understand this and make it a reality…………By transmitting only unchanged form, you are led in a direction which is contrary to Sensei’s thought. Your techniques become one if you study the spiritual aspect of Morihei Ueshiba Sensei. You have to continually overcome barriers. Aiki is a matter of you becoming one with others. You have to create techniques which unite you and your opponent. If you are not able to achieve this, you should not use the expression “Aiki is love,” in an ideologically sense. This is something you can achieve through your body, and you should not think that spiritual matters are separate.”

Kanshu Sunadomari

Kotodama is mistakenly thought to be sounds, but in Aikido, kotodama is yamabiko no michi (the way of the mountain echo), it is the resonance of ki that precedes the emergence of sound. Subtle changes in these echoes become the mysteries of all creation. When two forms of Ki combine it becomes kokyu.

Shirata Rinjiro

“When I thought of my ability to see the technical level of my opponent before the engagement, I realised that it had absolutely nothing to do with the opponents skillfulness or unskillfulness, and that it was I which was creating “skillfulness” and “unskillfulness” in the opponent. If there is “I” then there is “opponent”, and if there is no “I” then there is no “opponent”.

If one truly comprehends this principle, there will not even be the slightest discrimination between “skilful” and “unskilful”, “strong” and “weak”, “big” and “small”…..

Tesshu Yamaoka

“If you want to obtain the secrets of such wonderful techniques, drill yourself, harden yourself, undergo severe training, abandon body and mind; follow this course for years and you will naturally reach the profoundest levels.”

Tesshu Yamaoka

“It’s simple; think nothing, do nothing. When I move with intuition I am formless; when I have no form, there is nothing in this world that can oppose me.” Issai Chozan

“There is no form to principle, and principles function manifests itself according to the vessel. If there is no vessel you will not see the principle. The mysterious function of the Great Ultimate is manifested according to the changes of yin/yang. The principles of heaven, in mans mind are manifested according to the circumstances of the four Fundamental Virtues.(Righteousness, benevolence, Propriety, Wisdom)

Swordsmanship is a matter of victory or defeat. Nevertheless, extended to its ultimate law, it is nothing other than the mysterious function of the very nature of the essence of the mind.

Still, it is difficult for beginning students to arrive at this suddenly. For this reason, the teaching of the men of old followed the self nature of form and thoroughly covered technique in every possible way. But they applied them gently and without violence. Thus the student corrected the structures of their sinews and bones, practised the movement of their arms and legs, only grasping the function of their techniques and responding to changes.

If you have not acquired skill in technique, your mind may be strong, but you will be unable to respond with its function. Technique is cultivated by means of Ki, and Ki uses mind as a vehicle to put form into use. For this reason it is considered essential that Ki is active and does not stay in one place, that is strong and robust and is in no way deterred.

The highest principles are contained within techniques, and follow the self-nature of the utensil. As you become skilful in technique, Ki harmonises, and the principle of the place that contains the Ki is manifest on its own. When this has completely penetrated the mind and no more doubts remain, technique and principles become one, Ki is under control, your spirit is settled, and practical application is completely unobstructed.

This was the way of training in the martial arts in the past.. Thus, in the martial arts, drill and discipline are considered essential. If your technique has not become mature, Ki will not become harmonised and form will not follow. When the mind and form become two, you will be unable to act with freedom………..Form follows Ki, and Ki follows the mind. When the mind doesn’t move, there is no movement of Ki; when the mind is at peace, and there is nothing to agitate it, Ki is also in harmony, follows the mind, and technique responds to circumstances naturally……….When the mind resides in technique, Ki is hindered and is not in harmony. When you insert strength into the mind, it leaves a fissure in its wake, and is, on the contrary, weak. When you arouse intention for controlling a situation, it is like blowing into a fire and using up all the kindling. When Ki initiates, it dries up; when you fix it, it freezes. When you wait to defend yourself and intend to respond to your opponents actions, you are withholding action, obstructing yourself on your own, and will be unable to advance a single step. On the contrary, your opponent will simply play with you. If you have a poor understanding of such things as ‘abiding in the midst of attack’ and ‘attacking in the midst of abidance’ you introduce intention and will suffer great harm.”

The Demon Sermon on the Martial Arts.

Peter Kelly

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