More about Aikido

Aikido, one of the few martial arts I have ever practiced. Created by the Japanese master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the word means "The art (or way) of peace." I remember spending endless nights with my companions, learning to fight in such a way that the adversary’s negative energy is directed against himself.

Ueshiba, who is known by those who practice Aikido as "The Grand Master", left behind a series of philosophical practices, during his conferences, in his poetry and conversations with disciples. Here are a few of his main teachings.

Where to begin the art of peace

The art of peace begins inside you; work to manage to keep it at your side. Everyone has a spirit which can be perfected, a body which can be trained, and a path to follow.

You are here to fulfill these three tasks, and to do so two things will be necessary: maintain calm, and practice the Art in everything you do. None of us needs money, power or status in order to practice the Art; at this precise moment you are one step away from Paradise, and should train now.

The universe and us

The whole universe comes from the same source. This source, which we call life, contains our past, the present, and the future. As man moves forward, he can either dissolve or harmonize his vital energy. Evil is born the moment we start to believe that that which belongs to all, belongs only to ourselves; this causes pride, useless desires, and anger. But anyone not possessed by things, eventually becomes lord of all.

The eight forces

In order to practice the Art of Peace, one must at some point delve alternately into the eight opposing forces which make up the Universe:

Movement and inertia
Solidity and adaptation,
Contraction and distention,
Unification and division.

These are present in everything, from the vast space to the smallest plants; each thing carries a gigantic reserve of universal energy, which can be used for the benefit of all.

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  1. Laura Prieto says:

    Decí­a Morihei Ueshiba, el creador del Aikido:
    “Conquistar los corazones es el mejor camino, conquistar los castillos es el camino secundario conquistar a través de la dominación es el peor camino”.


  2. Marie-Christine says:

    Thank you Paulo .
    F or c e
    F aith (foi)
    OR Light
    C ourage
    E nergy

    I understood the text, having a bit of difficulty with the force one and reading the commentary from Heather Greenwood helped me a lot.
    Thank you Heather Greenwood via Philip text, I like the name as well. Heather is a bruy ere in French, it’s light and it also contains for me the word noise (bruit). so it is interesting about names how they can have so much meaning, Greenwood to me is ecologically sound as well.
    For me it confirms our link with nature.
    With love

  3. Heather Greenwood says:

    “Shugyo is a word composed of two kanji (characters). The first character, shu, means tenacity. The old literal meaning of this kanji is to use a brush to strike away the dust that obscures a person’s true qualities. Aikido is personal cleansing. At home, when you go to clean and you really start to look under the rugs, you find a lot of very unpleasant things. And here’s the point: The only person you ever really meet in training is yourself. To think that “unpleasantness” or “lack of fun” means you’re on the wrong path is nothing more than immature, egoistic thinking. If you can get beyond your own ego mind then you can find truly great pleasure and happiness in your practice as well as in your life. This kind of happiness depends far less on your outer circumstances and far more on the quality of your shugyo.

    In Japanese spiritual cleansing is called misogi. Ueshiba said that “Aikido is misogi.” If we don’t clean the shelves regularly they become dusty. If we don’t brush our teeth they become rotten. Training is not about “getting what you feel like you need.” It’s about “doing what you need to do.” Words like difficult, hard, painful, busy, bored or tired are given no voice and no special privilege in shugyo. The second character, gyo, means journey. This is why Aikido does not engage in competition. There is nothing inherently wrong with competition, but the momentary victory, the adolescent fantasies and illusions that seem to obsess the typical Western mind, have no place in Aikido.
    A term closely related to shugyo is kugyo which translates literally as “carrying on while suffering.” When we encounter suffering – being pushed hard in training, training even when it’s inconvenient or we’re tired, a teacher that’s a little harsh, a failed exam, the challenge of learning something new or even an injury – there is a little voice in our head that tells us to give up. For most people suffering means it’s time to quit. If your practice was built on some “gaining idea” this is where the road will divide. You will be unable to stay on the path. At these times you have to realize that this is the very reason you are training, to be able to carry on in spite of discomfort, embarrassment, confusion, doubt, pain and even in spite of your teacher. If you quit at such a time you cannot fool yourself into thinking that you ever really understood your training in the first place, no matter how many years you show up in the dojo.”

    -Philip Greenwood

  4. jackienoriega says:

    me parece sensacional aprender esto sobre el aikido ya que no lo sabí¬a ademas saber que es un arte marcial con el que podemos aprender a controlar nuestro caracter y hacer que el contrincante sea atacado por su propia energí¬a

  5. lilah says:

    so beautiful and real ,thanx for sharing ur knowledge once again,
    luv and light always

  6. Marie-christine Grimard says:

    “everyone has a spirit which can be perfected, a body which can be trained, and a path to follow.”
    í€ sentence which Will make my day ..
    as Many other words , you give us day after day.
    Comme autant de jalon sur notre chemin, toutes vos phrases sont des lanternes qui illuminent notre route .. Ce texte me touche particulièrement , certains jours oí¹ il faut rassembler un peu plus d’énergie pour poursuivre le voyage , comme aujourd’hui, il est bon de trouver un signe qui vous indique l’etape suivante . Merci .
    Thanks So much for all.
    With Love
    M. Christine G

  7. Clara Dark says:

    Sport is always good. I practiced some in my life, now I became a bit lazy…must do something about. In winter was too cold, now too hot for sport… About no money needed, I think here is bit different, I had friends attending aikido course, they had to travel for seminars ( only that way they advanced) and all cost money. I think if one has is worthy, but is not for free. About we do not posses things, sure, nobody will take in afterlife anything. But the sense of property might make one take care of things, if we think is not our thing, we might not care and let things ruin. Only few thoughts
    Have a happy day
    nothing in excess

  8. katie says:

    In order to practice the Art of Peace, one must at some point delve alternately into the eight opposing forces which make up the Universe:
    Movement and inertia
    Solidity and adaptation,
    Contraction and distention,
    Unification and division.

    these opposing forces are the extremes of a continuum. the art of peace is to recognize where to stand at each moment.

  9. Homo conscius says:

    Without (the art of) peace one feels very lonly. And the so called “social” medias help to suppress this negative feeling. But they do not nourish the ability to be a real friend. They lack smell, taste and sens-uality.

  10. mita says:

    Mr coelho,
    From the morning I am trying to send a message in this blog …….this is 4th time trying …….i do not know it will reach or not .this message is not about this blog,but I want to inform some thing that in ALEPH you told that you have to meet 3 more women in this incarnation to achieve your spiritual kingdom.I can not understand what kind of kingdom you want to achieve but there is a story ……..In ancient India there was a couple in southern part of India who practiced magical power and one step away to achieve ultimate power.But when they were performing the last step the king of that country who was a rival of them also trying to achieve ultimate power reach there and arrested the man .Then the king tried to convince the lady to help him to achieve the power because to achieve the power it was necessary.The lady instantly refused the king. That night any how she managed to meet the man.The man told her to perform some rituals like to create a perfect image of Lord Visnu by her own hand and to offer the lord she had to dig hole in which she could offer some product to God .The lady fled to the western coast of India and created a perfect statue of god Visnu by carving in the wall of a cave.When she was going to offer the god the king arrived by getting information about her activity .He captured the lady and burried her in the wall of the cave alive………so i think no body can achieve ultimate power by performing rituals. If some body speak truth and honest and keep faith upon all mighty he or she can achieve some power……..some years before I went to visit Karla cave near Mumbat There in a cave I found A Visnu Image perfectly carver in the wall of cave and some hole which was on stone floor dug perfectly . ….I do not know this is the same cave or not .Good night .take care……..I hope this message will reach to you.

  11. Rishabh Bhasin says:

    I tried to practice aikido. I failed.

  12. Olta Canka says:

    Love Martial Arts! They are all so fascinating, so profound!
    When thinking of inner peace, tell it to be there when I need it, I get the opposite, I get anxiety, chaos. And for a moment I decide to forget about all, call my chaos to come closer and ask myself why do I need inner peace? And peace has already came in.
    I know I am going to get nowhere with questions, but somehow it works…
    And then I ask: “Why do I need to expel chaos? Is it really so necessary? Maybe it could help instead?”
    Again, Peace comes in, but the inner fight continues.
    Just this way I made my thoughts on fear last night. In my long inner war for erasing it I just asked myself: “Why do I want to expel it from my life?”, looking at the dark sky, and I found my peace and answer there. “Fear is part of this mysterious world. My spirit isn’t used to it, and since it was always labeled to me as a bad thing, I always fought against it. But fear is another mystery to me, just like this dark sky where all my dreams lie in. It is part of this word, but if I want to be part of it I must collaborate with it.” And I found a deep peace in my heart. Something that moved me, and suddenly I felt the presence of the one that guides and protects me, which for my biggest surprise felt to be one, the same thing, with whom I had been fighting against, for so long, Fear. Yes, Fear.
    I couldn’t believe it. I can’t explain that. I was hesitating whether feeling disappointed or fascinated. But so it has always been. During my life his few word, he told me, had always brought big fear to me.
    I knew this is a big gift. Another mystery to enjoy. Fear it is not the evil as I had labeled it inside but something beautiful I can’t know, just as I can’t see what the darkness of that dark night is made of, but I like it a lot.
    Than Peace, Joy, Love and a wonderful thunder moon were there. :)


  13. Psalmbody says:

    A beautiful, unexpected in.spiration; thanks for stoking that sacred fire.

  14. margherita says:

    Noi siamo TUTTO
    Noi siamo NIENTE
    Noi siamo GRANDI
    Noi siamo FELICI
    quando abbiamo gií  conosciuto la TRISTEZZA
    Noi possiamo fare il BENE
    se conosciamo il MALE
    Mi domando perchè DIO non abbia vinto il MALE
    e mi rispondo cosí¬:
    DIO (forse) puí² permettersi di tollerare sia l’UNO che l’ALTRO perchè, (e Dio mi perdoni), DIO, e solo DIO è TUTTO e noi, ognuno di noi, ne è una piccolissima SCHEGGIA.
    CIASCUNO di noi è una SCHEGGIA di DIO, nel bene e nel male.
    Mi piace pensarlo. Solo cosí¬ riesco a giustificare tutto, la coesistenza degli opposti che si legittimano. Non è negativo che esista il male. E’ giusto cosí¬.
    PACE a tutti.

  15. Marie-Christine says:


    Cuida de Mim
    Nenem Amazonas

    Se eu me entregar de corpo e alma
    Prometa pro meu coracao
    Que vai cuidar de mim
    Que vai cuidar de mim

    Se em tuas maos entregar meu coracao
    Prometa pra minha paixao
    Que vai cuidar de mim
    Que vai cuidar de mim

    Em teu mundo ja entrai
    Sem previsao pra sair
    Tua vida, mia vida
    Como e bom amar assim

    Quera esta Sempre ao teu lado
    De maos dadas, ser teu namorado
    Quero esta na sua historia
    A minha historia com voce
    Comecar agora.

    Segura a minha mao
    Deixa eu te levar
    Pro mundo onde ninguem ja mais pisou
    E tanta paixao
    Tenho tanto amor pra dar
    Nao posso te oferecer o ceu e o mar
    Mais e sincero o amor que tenho pra te dar.

    En francais
    Prends soin de moi
    Nenem Amazonas

    Si j’entre corps et ame
    Laisse-moi esperer pour mon coeur
    Que tu vas prendre soin de moi
    Que tu vas prendre soin de moi

    Si entre tes mains, je te donne mon coeur
    Laisse-moi esperer pour ma passion
    Que tu vas prendre soin de moi
    Que tu vas prendre soin de moi

    Dans ton monde, j’entre a present
    Sans prevision pour en sortir
    Ta vie, ma vie
    Comme c’est bon d’aimer ainsi.

    Je veux etre toujours a tes cotes
    Des mains donnees, etre ton ami
    Je veux faire partie de ton histoire
    Mon histoire avec toi commence maintenant.

    Tiens ma main
    Laisse-moi t’amener
    Dans un monde ou personne n’a encore a present jamais marche
    J’ai tant de passion
    Tant d’amour a donner
    Je ne peux pas t’offrir le ciel ou la mer
    Mais l’amour que j’ai a te donner est sincere.

    In English
    Look after me
    Nenem Amazonas

    Look after me
    If I enter body and soul
    Let me hope, for my heart
    That you will take care of me
    That you will take care of me.

    I put my heart in your hands
    Let me hope, for my passion
    That you will take care of me
    That you will take care of me.

    In your world, I enter without planning to leave
    Your life, my life
    How good it is to love this way

    I always want to be with you
    With given hands
    Being your friend
    I want to be part of your story
    My story with you just start now.

    Hold my hands
    Let me take you
    In a world where no one yet has ever tread upon
    I have so much passion
    I have so much love to give
    I cannot offer you the sky and the sea
    But the love I have to give to you is sincere.

    Keep on smiling :)
    I love you.


    1. luz mariposa says:

      graciassssssss..Marie..gracias amiga..
      Tu alma es un sol..da luz.. vida es amor..da ..y se tu..ese sol que ilumina..
      besos..clary.. somos energia..somos parte del todo y de la nada..somos uno

    2. Marie-Christine says:

      Gracias luz mariposa
      puedes leer mis pensamientos :)
      somos todos connectados
      Luz amor y paz

  16. Satora says:

    “Each and every master, regardless of the era or place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit — love. ”

    The Art of Peace — Morihei Ueshiba

    1. Nancy says:

      Thanks for sharing that quote. It makes sense to me as I think about Ueshiba, Gandhi, Rumi, Gibran.

    2. Clara Dark says:

      Thank you Satora, beautiful text

  17. Marie-Christine says:

    I read that poem on ‘O Globo’
    May it goes around the world.
    With love

    ”Cuida de Mim
    Nenem Amazonas

    Se eu me entregar de corpo e alma
    Prometa pro meu coracao
    Que vai cuidar de mim
    Que vai cuidar de mim

    Se em tuas maos entregard meu coracao
    Prometa pra minha paixao
    Que vai cuidar de mim
    Que vai cuidar de mim

    Em teu mundo ja entrei
    Sem previsao pra sair
    Tua vida, minha vida
    Como e bom amar assim

    Quera esta sempre ao teu lado
    De maos dadas, ser teu namorado
    Quero esta na sua historia
    A minha historia com voce
    Comecar agora

    Segura a minha mao
    Deixa eu te levar
    Pro mundo onde ninguem ja mais pisou
    E tanta paixao
    Tenho tanto amor pra dar
    Nao posso te oferecer o ceu e o mar
    Mais e sincero o amor que tenho pra te dar.

    1. Gonzalo says:

      Que hermosa poesí­a!!!
      El mas puro amor, la mas pura amistad, lastima que el ego-ismo del hombre no lo deja nacer, crecer o permanecer.

      Paz y Amor.

    2. Marie-Christine says:

      Si muy hermosa ,
      am or da paz y luz a su alma es bueno no :)
      paz y amor para ti tambien

  18. Nancy says:

    Morihei Ueshiba created Aikido and I feel lucky to have read a part of what was given to him. It sounds like a piece of the puzzle. We just need to pratice it.

  19. Empié says:

    Al fin y al cabo la lucha en las artes marciales es la lucha contra el ego, la lucha por vencer lo que nos hace daño, vencer las emociones negativas, salir airoso del combate contra uno mismo, esa es la verdadera victoria. Lo demás y los demás están ahí­ para probarnos y guiarnos hacia nuestro verdadero yo.

    Todo es pasajero como el sí­mbolo del tai chi, todo cambia. Lo que nos domina viene de dentro no de fuera, los demás solo atacan lo que es vulnerable, hacen que corrijamos nuestros defectos. Al final, todo pasa, el enemigo no somos tu ni yo, tu y yo estamos aquí­ para ayudarnos a crecer, todo lo demás es transitorio.

    He vuelto a cambiar y espero seguir haciéndolo, me acerco, veo luz.

    Un saludo.

    1. Hector says:

      Muy buen comentrio. Para mi era desconocida la palabra Aikido

  20. Hattie(Tea) says:

    Thank you for more information about peace.

  21. Annie says:

    “…to practice the Art; at this precise moment you are one step away from Paradise, and should train now.”

    Every p-art of Life is Art
    so train every day if you Love.
    Cause one day it might rain,
    and if you don’t t-rain in the Art,
    you won’t have tamed

    and the Paradise that was always in your grasp
    will be lost
    and your dream

    Love and Gratitude

  22. Aikido sounds much more like a way of life with its own belief systems, philosophies and moral codes than than “just” a martial art.

  23. LoveM says:

    AI..Love and harmony
    KI..Heart spirit and energy
    DO..Still you are the way

    Keep on practicing
    Until there’s no longer a
    Practitioner left..

    I no there

  24. toñi says:

    Cuando era pequeña tení­a mucha flexibilidad en el cuerpo, parecí­a de goma. Jugando hací­a ejercicios de yoga sin saber que era yoga. Después he leido libros donde explican cosas que yo ya sabí­a sin saber lo que eran.
    Por curiosidad, ¿le has preguntado a tu corazón porqué te gustan las artes marciales o el aikido?…quizás una de tus almas gemelas es un apasionado de este tema ¿verdad?.
    Creo que el mal o la negatividad nace del miedo. Nos sentimos impulsados en la vida a conseguir metas o cosas o personas por miedo: tenemos relaciones sexuales o sociales o familiares por miedo a la soledad, ambicionamos dinero por miedo a no poseer algo con lo que aparentar o demostrar lo que somos, tenemos rabia o envidia de otras personas por miedo a ser inferiores, deseamos disfrutar de comidas, ropa, grandes lujos y vivir intensamente por miedo a que se nos escape el tiempo- el miedo a la muerte, etc. Si aprendemos a vivir sin miedo, si aprendemos a vivir en unidad con nosotros mismos, si aceptamos que todo es muy sencillo y aplicamos la fórmula de “a freir morcillas, todo irá bien y jakuna matata” entonces el miedo desaparece y al desaparecer el miedo desaparece también la envidia, la soledad, la rabia, los celos…y nos queda …”nosotros mismos en nuestro mundo”. Puede parecer egoismo, pero mucho más egoista es aquel que se dedica a vivir pendiente de creerse con derecho a ejercer influencia en las vidas de los demás. Como dice este refrán “lo que no deseas para ti mismo no lo desees para los demás”. Si aprendemos a vivir sin miedo, encontramos en cielo en la tierra. Si aprendemos a querernos a nosotros mismos donde habí­a muros …se abrirán posibilidades.
    Bueno quizás estos pensamientos no tienen mucho que ver con el tema que se trata en este párrafo pero…me apetecí­a escribir ésto. Por cierto, a mi hija le encantan las artes marciales, el aikido, el boxeo y todo eso.
    Un saludo a todos,

    1. adry says:

      Si,quizas no tenga que ver con el tema ,pero justo era lo que necesitaba leer ,casualmente ,eso lo lei ayer en “los cuatro acuerdos”,gracias por reforzarlo ,es increible estas casualidades.

  25. Wanderlaini Aparecida Rodrigues says:

    Muito belo conhecimento.

  26. Gonzalo says:

    Muchas veces pensé en cual era el origen del mal y siempre llegaba a la conclusión de la envidia del hombre y su egoí­smo, pero esta definición del maestro Ueshiba me termina de contestar a mi interrogante.
    “El mal nace en el momento de empezar a creer que lo que nos pertenece a todos, pertenece sólo a nosotros mismos, lo que causa el orgullo, los deseos inútiles, y la ira.”
    Las 8 fuerzas son inequí­vocas y forman el equilibrio necesario para la creación de todo en el universo.
    Debemos encontrar el equilibrio cuando estemos bajo una fuerza desequilibrante.
    Muy interesante las enseñanza transmitida de su maestro.
    Muchas gracias por transmitirlas, seguimos aprendiendo a través de usted.
    Paz y Amor

  27. heart says:

    “Evil is born the moment we start to believe that which belongs to all, belongs only to ou self”. Privacy zero. Share everything..

    1. Brave_soul says:

      Your wish is the universe command. Your wish just granted :-D

  28. Peter Dost says:

    Dear pessoas,
    To fight in a more clever way and use one opponents energy is still fighting, isn’t it? Which Grand Master will teach his opponent to choose just not to fight and teach him how to use all his energy in a positive way..

    “Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.”

    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

  29. eleonora says:

    grazie per la condivisione.. mi piace molto:chiunque non è posseduto dalle cose, alla fine diventa ..buona giornata.

  30. Heimo Alexander Kruschinski says:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
    Matthew 5:38-42

    He did not say, let’s hit you on the right cheek. He has not even told what happened to the hand when it was a hit. The whole phrase reminds me of a perfect martial arts. Perhaps I am wrong. I do not know.

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  31. Monsieur Coelho.

    Quelle surprise de découvrir ce lien avec l’aí¯kido après vous avoir lu pendant toutes ces années.

    Bon filon… n’est-ce pas.

    Daniel Laurendeau

  32. Carmen Larisa says:

    The best way of fighting is not to react, not to fight in fact! :-)Just remain calm, positive and negativity cannot win because good is infinitely more important than evil, but is is more discreet and that’s why we have to look for its manifestations as we don’t find them on a silver plate. We are part and parcel of the whole, everyone has equal rights in the eyes of God, but it depends on us what we are and do. We can have direct contact with God by being ourselves, having trust and becoming the Light of the Spirit, of Love!

    Carmen Larisa

  33. Tommy says:

    How do you know so much, do you have directly contact with God…?

    Just wondering

  34. Mandarawa says:

    For some reason this text reminded me of the teaching that my spiritual Teacher gave few years ago. In his teaching he encouraged his students to view themselves as a part of body of life. The body of life is made of all living beings and we ourselves are just a part of it. In the same way the hand would remove the thorn from the the foot, we want to remove suffering of other living beings. We tend to think that we are the most important person in the universe but regarding ourselves as just the part of the whole opens our mind and heart for others. Furthermore we should think that we are actually least important part of the body of life like fingernail or flaky skin. This is a step leading eventually to accepting even more profound view that others are more important then ourselves. When we fully realize that, the door of freedom will open for us.

  35. Heart says:

    I don’t know if there is such a word in English, but in my native language we talk about an Artist of Life, meaning a person able to feel happy in life. What makes us happy? Is Michael Phelps happy now that he got eight Gold medals in the Olympics? Studies show, first of all it’s our social connections, family and friends, to feel loved, that will determine how happy we are. Norway has been decided the best country in the world to live in several times, because people there get free education, free health care and other benefits like long vacations and as many sick days as needed, so on. In my opinion my dad was an Artist of Life. First of all he though us humor, should I say the Art of Humor. Smile to the world and the world will smile back.