Aikido and the big picture

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is an often cited quote from the Founder of Aikido, Master Morihei Ueshiba (O’Sensei), that goes along the following lines:

Aikido is not a technique to fight and defeat the enemy. It is a way to reconcile the World and make human beings one family.

I have often pondered on this statement and wondered how it is possible that a martial art or any form of budo for that matter could hope to achieve such a lofty goal.

In the context of Aikido, its probably not that surprising that I can never recall anyone ever talking about World peace or anything like it. Our efforts on the mat are exclusively focussed on developing our skills, working on ways to improve our body structure and basically enjoying our practice. After class many of us then head out for a coffee, have a few laughs and then return to our regular lives. World reconciliation just never comes up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt then struck me the other day as I was leading a class that I had missed something obvious. Looking around the dojo there were people of different ages, background, gender, physical ability, work life, etc. Everyone was working together to help each other improve their skills and understanding, be safe and just have fun. In short, they were just enjoying each other’s company and learning from their differences.

I then realised that this is what O’Sensei was probably talking about.

Until next time



  1. Ditto! I had the same realization in the past, and I’ve never looked at Aikido the same way again. Aikido is indeed more than a martial art. It is a tool to reconnect people with each other. Just going to an Aikido seminar is proof of that! Thanks for this post! It is a pleasure to read. 😀

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