People who practice aikido usually describe themselves as dreamers, and contemplative minds. They never choose words such as athlete or fighter. Although they practice a martial art, they usually regard themselves as pacifists, and violence has no place in their hearts. Accordingly, the ideal in aikido is not to win in battle, but to prevent it from even commencing yes, to do away with violence itself.
The one who makes that decision before three years have passed is bound to get lost. If you hurry on from teacher to teacher, from one art to the other, you will never learn anything more than what you knew to begin with. You cannot see more. For such a student, the most impressive teacher is the one whose ability is the closest to that of the student, and the finest art is the one showing no more than the student is already familiar with.
Aiki rhythm and direction 89
Although aikido has a number of techniques and forms of training, these visible things are just the tip of the iceberg. It is the content that is really vast, and makes the training increasingly difficult, the more one progresses. The beginner might sense it, but has no chance of realizing the complexity of aikido. It shows itself gradually, like a landscape opens and widens, the higher the altitude is from which it is observed.
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art,
Aikidois a martial art unlike any other. It contains no attacks, only defense, and this defense should be so gentle that even the attacker is delighted by it. There is no competition, since each participant should be a winner. Its an art that takes a lifetime to learn.
Outside the dojo Im a writer and historian of ideas. Ive written a number of books in Swedish and English, both fiction and non-fiction. Among the latter are books about aikido and aikibatto, a guide to the life force qi, and aLife Energy Encyclopedia. Ive also published a translation and commentary of the Chinese classicTao Te Ching. In the history of ideas I study the thought patterns of creation myths, as well as Aristotles Poetics.
LIFE ENERGYAn encyclopedia of life energy concepts around the world.
The BookAikido Principlespresents the principles and basic concepts of aikido deeply rooted in Eastern philosophy and the refined ideals of the samurai. Its not a technical manual, but an exploration of the thoughts and theories at work in aikido practice.
Other experienced teachers have done the same. I found these perspective of tremendous importance when trying to understand and improve in aikido.
Osenseis rules for training aikido 164
TAOISMThe wisdom of Taoism and theTao Te Ching, its ancient source.
I guess it took so long because humility is part of what we learn in this martial art. I doubted that I would have something of any value to contribute. I was even unsure if a non-Japanese aikidoka was at all equipped to do it.
It would be going too far to say that anything could be learned in three years. Certainly not aikido. But when that period is completed, one should be able to ascertain how much is to be found in that which has been studied. You have neither become an equal to your teacher, nor a master of your art, but you can envision how far your teacher and your art can take you on the path of life.
The impossible martial artA Chapter from the Book
We live in a world where we are crowded with many more people than we are able or willing to get to know. In anthropology, man is seen as a flock animal. During most of our history, we have lived in small societies with about eighty individuals or less. Thats what we are configured for. The modern world forces us instead to live in great herds, as if we were sheep.
SamplesHere are two short chapters fromAikido Principles, as Acrobat PDF files in computer screen resolution (72 DPI):
There are many books about aikido. None of them is enough for learning this gentle martial art. Still, one day I felt I had to write one, too. But I focused on the ideas, principles and theories behind aikido – not at all a manual on how to do the techniques. That has to be practiced in the dojo. A book is for thoughts, so I wrote one about what thoughts lie behind aikido and its practice.
In German, Swedish, and CzechThis aikido book was originally published is Swedish. It has also been translated to German and Czech. Here are links to those versions:
Aikiken Sword Exercises for Aikido.The aikibatto exercises, practical and spiritual aspects of the sword arts, advice on equipment for training.Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Transmitting ideasI had the fortune of practicing for a very talkative aikido teacher, when I was new to it. His name was Toshikazu Ichimura and he was the national instructor in Sweden. He explained the philosophy and mythology in the tradition from which aikido had sprung.
Aikido is definitely much more than a sport, and as a martial art it is more about peace than about war. Its practitioners, although far from perfect, are proof of this.
With the right mind your aikido will improve, all by itself. But only by practice, lots of practice.
TAROTTarot card meanings in divination and a free online spread.
Theres also a substantial chapter aboutkototama, the spiritual cosmology of sounds that was central to Osensei. The third part is an appendix, including an aikido glossary.
Its divided into three parts. The first one deals with aikido ideas of finding the peaceful solution, of doing away with conflict, and how to enjoy aikido practice to the fullest. The second part presents the basic Japanese concepts at work in aikido, such asdo, the way,ki, life energy,tanden, the center, the polarities ofirimi/tenkanandomote/ura, the significance ofmaai,aiki,kinagare,takemusu, and so on.
Aikido is an art. That means people practicing it are artists. The more of them expressing their experience in writing, the better. Theres a lot of aikido books published so far, but theres still room for a lot more.
How to get the bookIf you want to buy the book, you can do so at most Internet bookstores. Click the image below to see the book at Amazon. The link takes you to your local Amazon store (or to ).
Aikido peopleOf those who try one aikido class, a minority returns for a second class, and only a few continue after one semester. On the other hand, those few tend to keep aikido for the rest of their lives without ever feeling that they master the art, without ever getting fed up with its content. This group is one of its very own kind.
Well, those who stick to aikido and they are not overwhelmingly many seem to be attracted to the difficulties and all the negations mentioned above. Our modern world offers all too many trophies that are easily caught, with glimmering surfaces but grayish content. You soon learn to set your hope on those surfaces that do not glimmer, even to the point of almost being repulsive. Perhaps they have a very different content.
I CHINGThe ancient Chinese system of divination and free online reading.
Probably, any hobby or sport tends to gather people who are of similar character. That might even be one of the most important functions of a collective pastime, no matter what its nature is. Nonetheless, aikido attracts its own kind of people. If this were not the case, aikido would soon lose its nature.
Thats what its all about. We learn, and we pay back by passing the knowledge on.
There are no instructions on how to do ikkyo, shihonage, and the other aikido techniques. That you find on this website, instead. The book focuses on aikido theory, but in a way that should be readily applicable in practice. Lets say that its a book about how you should think when you practice aikido.
So, it makes sense to regard aikido as close to impossible. The way is long between the short moments when ones movements dont feel clumsy, and even longer until there are moments where one also feels in harmony with the movements of ones training partner. Therefore it is of some surprise that there are people who try it.
ASTROLOGYThe complete horoscope chart and how to read it.
An old Japanese proverb says: Even on a stone three years. It means that even something as seemingly simple as sitting down on a stone takes three years to learn. If you can concentrate on each task in life with this insight, with this willingness to study diligently then you are sure to gain impressive abilities.
At first, we can only have an inkling of higher qualities, and it is precisely this vague sense that is the only trustworthy guide for the beginner. We go where we are tempted by our vague sense, our intuition, and we remain there until we fully understand what compelled us to go there. Then we can move on, if we like.
Budo is the collective name for all the Japanese martial arts, such as judo (wrestling), karatedo (punches and kicks), kendo (fencing), iaido (solo sword exercises), kyudo (archery), jodo (staff), and many more. Aikido also has its origin in Japan, and shares a number of traits with other types of budo.
Takemusu limitless improvisation 139
Certainly, each of the Japanese martial arts has its own technical and theoretical characteristics, but also with this in mind aikido has got a place all its own. Most of the aikido characteristics happen to be negations: In aikido there is no competition, no attack techniques, no opponent, no force needed, no shortcut possible. It is difficult to learn, even in its most basic movements, and few are those who have learned to master aikido or parts thereof even after having studied it for decades.
Keiko practice, practice, practice 137
Facebook Page of Aikido PrinciplesClick the header to visit the books Facebook page.
AIKIDO PRACTICEIntroductionAikido TechniquesAttacks in AikidoIkkyo completeTantodori – knife defenseAiki – joining energiesKokyunageIriminageShihonageKokyuho (sokumen iriminage)KoshinageKotegaeshiYonkyoNikyoSankyoSuwari kokyuho (kokyu dosa)Jo 31 KataKi exercisesAikibatto sword and staff exercisesAikido Video ClipsAikido PhotosMy aikido dojo in Malm, SwedenMy seminars
The proverb actually admits that after those three years, you really can sit on a stone. Many teachers, who want to bind their students with lifetime contracts, are reluctant to reveal this consequence of the proverb. Keeping the students in a state of confusion might benefit the teacher who has no higher thoughts about his or her own abilities. Students caught in this type of web dont learn much even in thirty years.
That should take something like three years.
AIKIDO THEORYMy Aikido BioAikido GlossaryTanden, the CenterAikido InksAikido as Self-DefenseRunning a DojoAikido is TrueOsensei and EinsteinAikiWeb ColumnsAikido Books ReviewedDie deutsche Version meines Aikido-Buches onlineAikido p svenska
Three years on a stoneIn Japan it is a well-known fact that at the outset the student has no way of knowing what the teacher can give, nor if the teachers methods are the most suitable. It takes three years, they say, for the student to learn enough to decide if the teacher suits him or her. Only at that point is the student mature enough to choose whether to stay with that teacher, or leave to find another.
Click the header to get to the webpage where I present all my books in English. Click an image below to go to that books page on Amazon.
Table of ContentsHere is the books table of contents:
Well, what I found was that I had learned so much from my teachers, actually also from my students, I needed not to be concerned. What we lack in wisdom, we can compensate by experience. So, I focused on transmitting the thoughts and perspectives I had been taught.
Budo Charter the Japanese rules 166
Many of the emotional disturbances in the psyche of modern man stem from this situation. Unconsciously, we strive to surround ourselves with a group of people that is similar to the little flock, and we try to ward off the rest of the world and its population.
How to do kogeki, the attack techniques.All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly.Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
QI ENERGY EXERCISESQi (also spelledchiorki) explained, with exercises to increase it.
Kinagare flowing training 125
Since Im a writer by profession, it was unavoidable that I had to write a book about aikido sooner or later. That happened later – after twenty years of training.
Therefore, we need methods to find those smaller groups, preferably those that contain people we can relate to, people who are similar to us maybe even sibling souls, if that is possible. The more odd a pastime is, the more homogenous a group will gather in it. The exact nature of that homogeneity can be hard to perceive, but it is there.
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art
So, much to my surprise the book was a delight to write. Even more surprising was the kind reception it got when published.
The first edition was in Swedish, printed in 1992. I hesitated again about writing an English version, although many aikido friends from other countries urged me. It took me another 16 years.
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art.The basic principles, philosophy and traditional budo concepts in aikido.Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Kototama the soul of words 146
The book has previously been published with the titleAikido: The Peaceful Martial Art.
Im aSwedishauthorof fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. Im also anartist, anhistorian of ideasand a7 dan Aikikai Shihanaikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.
My other aikido books areAttacks in AikidoandAikibatto: Sword Exercises for Aikido Students.
About meI started to practice aikido in 1972, when I was 18 years old. Now, Im 7 dan Aikikai Shihan, member of the Swedish Aikikai Grading Committee, former Vice Chairman of the International Aikido Federation and President of the Swedish Budo & Martial Arts Federation. I teach aikido and iaido at the dojo Enighet in Malmo, Sweden, and at seminars in Sweden and other European countries.
Irimi, tenkan inward, outward 114