Aikido Waza

"Only when you can lead another person's mind and Ki can you effectively lead that person's body. Therefore, before you can lead your partner's mind and Ki, you must first learn to control your own mind and body. In other words, before you can win over other people, you must first practice to win over yourself."

-- Koichi Tohei Sensei

Aikido is not a martial art in which the goal is to cause trauma, but instead to find a peaceful resolution to conflict without harm to the defender or the attacker.

All Aikido techniques begin and end with the principle of non-dissension. We must be able to remain peaceful in our daily lives and in all situations. Shinshin Toitsu Aikido teaches non-dissension by releasing the idea of a conflict in our hearts as well as in the hearts of others.

If you physically struggle to throw a person, you are performing with a fighting mind. A fight is bound to result. But if you move a person's mind, their body will gladly follow. By leading their mind, you avoid conflict and collision. You lead them to a place where they already have chosen to go.

Five Principles to Lead Others

Ki is extending
"Extending Ki is our natural and original state. Therefore, it is a prerequisite that Ki is extending before you can perform any Aikido techniques."

Know your partner's mind
"As long as you insist on your own opinion and force your own way, you can not know what the other person is thinking or wants to do. If you do not know your partner's mind, you can not possibly lead that person. If your mind is calm and your body relaxed, then you can easily understand your partner's mind and Ki movement."

Respect you partner's intentions
"If you understand your partner's mind and Ki, then you must respect it. You can not ignore it and force your own way against the direction of your partner's Ki. When you respect your partner's Ki, you can then lead it in the same direction."

Put yourself in place of your partner
"This means that your Ki and your partner's Ki are aligned in the same direction. It means to put yourself in your partner's place and to understand what they want, and lead from there. If you do this, your partner will follow gladly."

Perform with confidence
"Once your Ki is joined with your partner's Ki, you should perform with confidence. This does not mean to force your own way, but to decisively follow through to the natural conclusion."

Video with Kashiwaya Sensei

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