Aikido

The Art of Peace - Morihei Ueshiba

Several years ago, I met an aikido sensei who described some of the underlying ideas of his martial art. I was particularly interested in the spirit of blending in aikido because it touched on some of the central elements in my stories. After several years of practice in aikido, I’m still very much the awkward aikidoka; however, I’ve come to value the spirit of joining the other, even in moments of conflict.

Here are the words of Morihei Ueshiba expressing two early experiences with the practice now known as aikido:

1925
“Suddenly the earth trembled. Golden vapor welled up from the ground and engulfed me. I felt transformed into a golden image, and my body seemed as light as a feather. I could understand the speech of birds. All at once I understood the nature of creation: the Way of a Warrior is to manifest divine love, a spirit that embraces and nurtures all things. Tears of gratitude and joy streamed down my cheeks. I saw the entire earth as my home, and the sun, moon, and stars as my intimate friends. All attachment to material things vanished.” (The Art of Peace Morihei Ueshiba)

1942
“The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.”