« The Aikido is the marvelous action of the Aiki of Takemusu. »
Morihei UESHIBA – Takemusu Aiki
Aikido is generally perceived as a sport. In the majority of countries its competence is covered by the Ministry of Sport. Admittedly, an aikidoka exerts his body, and this physical exercise is excellent for his health and fitness. Moreover, when the body acts the spirit is not isolated, it is involved. Sporting practice develops such virtues as attention, concentration, observation and analysis, decision-making, sense of effort, courage, respect of adversary...
One must be very pleased if the spirit and body grow together this way. In this respect, if Aikido were only a sport it would still be interesting.
However, Aikido is more than that, Aikido is Takemusu.
The Universe has not been created without rules. Life does not appear without a principle working behind the apparent forms. The idea that Aikido techniques solely aim martial effectiveness or body and spirit coordination is mistaken. Neither is the aim solely esthetics of form.
The reason for the movements of Aikido is to teach the practitioner how to act in conformity with the laws at the heart of the Universe.
But how can the movements of a body and a spirit be in conformity with the intention of the Universe? How does man behave so that – thanks to his movements – his personal destiny merges with the destiny of the Universe?
To become one with the Universe, through a unified movement of the body and spirit which respects and uses the principle around which this universe is organized, is the objective which is proposed to the practitioner of Aikido who turns his face towards Takemusu. It is the search of a lifetime.
The three fields of study
The three fields of study which form together the program of training (the spear, the sword and empty hand) seem at first very different. It takes years of assiduous practice before the thread which links them appears finally, clearly, to the sincere student. This relationship in Japanese is given the name, riai.
Teaching in question is completely concrete it is not vain speech. It is verifiable by experimentation. It is not a simple trend of Aikido, it is not a style, it is the Teaching of the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba.
If one withdraws from Aikido the dimension which Takemusu confers upon him, then one reduces the art of O’Sensei to a sport or to an elegant choreography.