What is Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido?

"The Absolute Universe is One. We call this Ki. Our lives and bodies are born of the Ki of the Universe. We study thoroughly the principles of the Universe and practice them. We are one with the Universe. There is no need to despond, no need to fear. The way we follow is the way of the Universe which no difficulty nor hardship can hinder.

Let us have the courage to say,'If I have a clear conscience and a calm spirit, I dare to face courageously any obstacle I may encounter'."

--Soshu Koichi Tohei

Just what is meant by "Shin Shin Toitsu" Aikido?
Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido is most often translated as "Aikido with mind and body unified." However, upon closer inspection of the kanji, a deeper meaning can be understood.

Lets take a closer look at Shin Shin Toitsu:

The first character is Kokoro which means mind/heart/thought/will/sincerity.

    The second character is Karada which stands for physical body/person/flesh.

      When these two are combined they are pronounced Shin-Shin, which implies the duality of mind and body. In the western world, we often think of our mind and body as separate, but in the eastern world they are considered to have been originally one and the same. Body and mind cannot exist independently.

      toitsu.gifThe final character is a complex combination of strokes containing the character "ito" meaning thread, yarn, or string. Therefore the final character is becomes Toitsu; meaning to tie together, bind, or unify.

      The use of the terms coordinate or unify can both imply a certain amount of control (jiriki) which causes "separation." This separation from our original and natural state is what causes negativity (depression, illness, war). The use of and between mind and body also causes a subtle separation between the two. Expressing them together as "Body-Mind" implies that they coexist equally. Thus another translation of Shin Shin Toitsu could be: "to realize the original oneness of body-mind."

      This means that Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido could be said to be: "Aikido with the realization that body and mind are one." As Tohei Sensei taught, "Mind leads Body," therefore all that is required to execute an Aikido technique is to move the person's mind and the body will follow.

      We study Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido in an attempt to re-establish this communication between our minds and bodies, allowing us to move through life in a state of unity with those around us and the ki of the universe. In this way we can practice Banuaido (love all creation) and make a positive impact in the world around us.

      "Mind and Body were originally one.

      Do not think that the power you have is the power you ordinarily use and moan that you have little strength. The power you ordinarily use is like the small,visible segment of an iceberg.

      When we unify our mind and body and become One with the Universe, we can use the great power that is naturally ours."

      --Koichi Tohei Sensei


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