Morihei Ueshiba quotes

Morihei Ueshiba photo
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Morihei Ueshiba

Birthdate: 14. January 1883
Date of death: 26. April 1969

Morihei Ueshiba was a Japanese martial artist and founder of the martial art of aikido. He is often referred to as "the founder" Kaiso or Ōsensei , "Great Teacher".

The son of a landowner from Tanabe, Ueshiba studied a number of martial arts in his youth, and served in the Japanese Army during the Russo-Japanese War. After being discharged in 1907, he moved to Hokkaidō as the head of a pioneer settlement; here he met and studied with Takeda Sōkaku, the founder of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu. On leaving Hokkaido in 1919, Ueshiba joined the Ōmoto-kyō movement, a Shinto sect, in Ayabe, where he served as a martial arts instructor and opened his first dojo. He accompanied the head of the Ōmoto-kyō group, Onisaburo Deguchi, on an expedition to Mongolia in 1924, where they were captured by Chinese troops and returned to Japan. The following year, he had a profound spiritual experience, stating that, "a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one." After this experience, his martial arts skill appeared to be greatly increased.

Ueshiba moved to Tokyo in 1926, where he set up the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. By now he was comparatively famous in martial arts circles, and taught at this dojo and others around Japan, including in several military academies. In the aftermath of World War II the Hombu dojo was temporarily closed, but Ueshiba had by this point left Tokyo and retired to Iwama, and he continued training at the dojo he had set up there. From the end of the war until the 1960s, he worked to promote aikido throughout Japan and abroad. He died from liver cancer in 1969.

After Ueshiba's death, aikido continued to be promulgated by his students . It is now practiced around the world.

Quotes Morihei Ueshiba

„The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.

„Shihonage is the foundation of Aikido. All you ever need to master is shihonage.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

Shihonage (or Shiho-nage the "Four Corner Throw") is a technique of maintaining control over an opponent in Aikido, as quoted in Aikido Shugyo (1991) by Gōzō Shioda, p. 61

„In a real battle, atemi is seventy percent, technique is thirty percent.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

As quoted in Total Aikido (1997) by Gōzō Shioda, p. 24

„In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it.

„There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Variant: The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.
Context: There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.

„There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit — love.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei Ueshiba, as quoted in You Can Save the Earth: 7 Reasons Why and 7 Simple Ways, a Philosophy for the Future (2008) by Hatherleigh, Sean K. Smith, and Andrew Flach, p. 92
Context: Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit — love.

„I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

An account of an experience of transcendent awareness, soon after a contest where, unarmed, he defeated a naval officer armed with a bokken (wooden sword) without harming him; as quoted in Aikido (1985) by Kisshomaru Ueshiba <!-- Hozansha Publications, Tokyo -->
Context: I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.
At that moment I was enlightened: the source of Budo is God's love — the spirit of loving protection for all beings … Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.

„True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

An account of an experience of transcendent awareness, soon after a contest where, unarmed, he defeated a naval officer armed with a bokken (wooden sword) without harming him; as quoted in Aikido (1985) by Kisshomaru Ueshiba <!-- Hozansha Publications, Tokyo -->
Context: I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.
At that moment I was enlightened: the source of Budo is God's love — the spirit of loving protection for all beings … Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.

„In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.

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„The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

Speaking of a vision of the "Great Spirit of Peace" in 1942, during World War II, as quoted in Adjusting Though Reflex : Romancing Zen (2010) by Rodger Hyodo, p. 76
Context: The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.

„The Art of Peace begins with you.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

As quoted in Inspire! What Great Leaders Do (2004) by Lance Secretan, p. 45
Context: The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all than you encounter.

„Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: 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.

„Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.

„The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

„A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.

„Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

„The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

Speaking of a vision of the "Great Spirit of Peace" in 1942, during World War II, as quoted in Adjusting Though Reflex : Romancing Zen (2010) by Rodger Hyodo, p. 76
Context: The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.

„Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.

„In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.“

—  Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Peace (1992)
Context: In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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