A system of beliefs,

the basis for the practice

of a Warrior of Peace



Saints and sages have always revered the sacredness of heaven and earth, of mountains, rivers, trees, and grasses.  They were always mindful of the great blessings of nature.  They realized that it is the purpose of life to make the world continually afresh, to create each day anew.  If you understand the principles of Aikido you too will be glad to be alive, and you will greet each day with great joy.


When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back;

When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.

                                                                                                Master Ueshiba


Never neglect to give thanks early in the morning to the rising sun. 

At noon, stop for a few seconds to give thanks and receive a blessing. 

When the sun went down, watch it reverently until it disappears.


Aikido ethics revolve around one principle:  “true acts”.  True acts are “acts of sincerity that are natural, spontaneous and free of duplicity and artifice.”


Respect and Gratitude


Aikido practice begins and ends with “REI”, respect.  On one level respect implies proper decorum and restraint.  In Shinto this natural etiquette show flow from a sincere and respectful approach to life, an awareness of the Divine that is all around.  Similarly, Indian leaders state that the underpinning of Native American cultures is “respect”.  This is not simply a respect for other human beings but also respect for the tools and utensils we rely upon in daily life, the animal and plant food we eat, and the sun, air, and water that sustain us.


It is easy to engender respect.  Simply appreciate the positive qualities of the gifts all around.  Appreciate the Sun’s warmth, the richness of the ground, the solidity of the rock.


Respect is expressed by a sense of gratitude.  We initiate each training session with shiho-hai, “gratitude in the four directions.”  This gratitude is also a heartfelt prayer, a deep sense of reverence for the Path and the Way of Aikido.


The Four Gratitudes:


1.      Gratitude toward the Universe

2.      Gratitude toward our ancestors and predecessors

3.      Gratitude toward our fellow human beings

4.      Gratitude toward the plants and animals that sacrifice their lives for us.



The Four Primary Virtues:

1.      Courage (Bravery)

2.      Wisdom

3.      Love

4.      Empathy (Friendship)



“Your spirit is your true shield”.


“Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there.  Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.”


“Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent; he may mesmerize you.  Do not fix your gaze on his sword; he may intimidate you.  Do not focus on your opponent at all; he may absorb your energy.  The essence of training is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere.  Then you can stand just where you like.”


”Even the most powerful human being has a limited sphere of strength.  Draw him outside of that sphere and into your own, and his strength will dissipate.”


“The Art of Peace that I practice has room for each of the world’s eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all.  The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.”


“The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions.”


“Even though our path is completely different from the warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon totally the old ways.  Absorb venerable traditions into this new Art by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms.”


“The Art of Peace is based on Four Great Virtues:  Bravery, Wisdom, Love and Friendship, symbolized by Fire, Air, Earth and Water.”


As Professor James Garbarino puts it, "Only the person who is not fully alive, who is dead inside, can commit acts of violence. For anyone who loves life and is spiritually fulfilled, such acts are incomprehensible to them."

To address violent behavior directly in terms of spiritual emptiness may be a way of disarming violence at its root. This, it seems to us, is a way of creating new alternatives to one of our society's most dismal problems



Daily Invocation


Great Spirit of the East

Where the Light Comes From

Domain of the Eagle

Element of Fire

Enlighten me, let me be brave


Great Spirit of the South

Where the Sun shines strongest

Domain of the Mouse

Element of Water

Bring me balance, let me find friendship


Great Spirit of the West

Where the Sun Sets

Domain of the Bear

Element of Earth

Transform me, let me love


Great Spirit of the North

Where the Sun Rests

Domain of the White Buffalo

Element of Air

Inform me, let me find wisdom


Great, great Masculine Spirit

Great Grand Father Sky

Empower me.


Great, great Female Spirit

Great Grand Mother Earth

Nurture me.


So, as I fill out the four corners of my day

I touch all things

I touch all Spirits

In an Up-lifting manner.

A Ho