Morihei Ueshiba, O'Sensei

Masakatsu agatsu

If you think that Budo means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and defeat them, you are mistaken. The true spirit of the martial arts is to be one with the universe and have no enemies. The essence of the martial arts is the spirit of loving protection of all beings in the universe.

Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.

I am calm however and whenever I am attacked. I have no attachment to life or death. I leave everything as it is to the spirit of the universe. Be apart from attachment to life and death and have a mind which leaves everything to that spirit, not only when you are being attacked but also in your daily lives.

A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong or who practices only to defeat an opponent.

Our techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.

The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangle represents the generation of energy and is the most stable physical posture. The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques. The square stands for solidity, the basis for applied control.

A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind. The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet, and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely. The physical center is your belly; if your mind is set there as well, you are assured of victory in any endeavor. 

That which is achieved by force will be defeated.

Quotes kindly provided by Aikido of Santa Cruz

Other Aikido Quotes

Harmony doesn't mean getting along with people at any cost just to avoid a confrontation. Harmony as used in aikido does not involve compromising at all. Rather, Aikido's harmony brings different, even opposing, elements together and intensifies them in a way that drives everything toward a higher level.  - Mitsunari Kanai, Uchideshi of Moirhei Ueshiba and Founder of New England Aikikai

Don't disturb your partner.  - David Halprin, Chief Instructor of Framingham Aikikai

Just think - if I can change everything I struggle with into an unexpected gift, what a difference it will make in my life! - Judy Ringer, from her book Unlikely Teachers

My practice is: How do I remain peaceful, even while being attacked? If I respond with aggression, I lose control and can no longer take care of myself or my partner. I must keep my peace. - Yoshi Shibata, Chief Instructor of the UC Santa Cruz Aikido Dojo

Ki is simple: it comes in through the crown of your head and radiates out through your body . . . Ki is the feeling of your arms floating on the surface of the water in a bath tub.  - Yukio Takahashi, Musota Dojo

Aikido isn't about throwing your partner to the ground. If he gets up with the feeling of, "Yeah, you threw me, but I know where you live," nothing has been resolved.  - Mary Heiny, Seattle, WA

A good teacher doesn't give it to you; a good teacher helps you find it.  - William Gleason, Shobu Aikido