Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Voice of Aikido- The Meaning of Study

Another voice recording this time Chapter 15 from The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome (1989 p.197-199)

Saotome Sensei's Approach to Budo and the Dojo

This chapter describes Budo as a study applied to the whole self being a lifetime study. The skills that you learn in aikido can be applied in your everyday endeavors.

We are introduced to the importance of the dojo as a microcosm. In Saotome Sensei's view it is a place where you feel well, meet a lot of different people and make friends. It is a place where you enrich yourself as a person through building new relationships.

The Parable of the Old Man

The voice recording also includes a story of the man over 70 who decides he would like to take up aikido. O'Sensei does not for a moment hesitate in inviting him to start practicing aikido. It is never too late to open up for new things! Never be mislead by the rigidity of the limits imposed by your own mind!


One moment and one movement can be decisive. You cannot hesitate and waste time because there is no second chance. Each encounter should be seen as a one time event through which your own self can be sharpened.

Your Teacher

You should see him as a guide, not a guru. He can help you and offer suggestions. He is a person you should respect and not idealize. This is most important to be kept in mind because he also has his flaws and virtues. He cannot be a perfect master. You should take what is of value from him and improve it. Improving and bettering your self is the greatest tribute you can pay him.

Remember that you are part of the Universe. To ruin your life or to waste it is to ruin a piece of the Universe. (M. Saotome)

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The Voice of Aikido


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