Category Archives: Translations

O’Sensei no kuden: Ame no Ukihashi(2)

The spirit of harmony which fills your body and soul is the heavenly sword. Polish it, make it shine throughout the world – which is yours…

– – – recorded by André Nocquet Shihan,  reported by J.-D Cauhépé and A. Kuang,  Shobu aïki. La victoire selon l’art chevaleresque de Morihei Ueshiba, p.31

O’Sensei on “A-O-U-E-I…” (7)

And what you should do is this: when you pray, sending out an ‘O’… [demonstrates:] ‘O’… or sending out an ‘U’… [demonstrates:] ‘U’… you must make the blood of your flesh-body more lively [ – circulating faster, with added ki-energy – ] and unfailingly your vitality will increase: forms will appear more sharply delineated, and at the same time  light will be generated and heat will be generated, and [your kotodama] will become the true expression and utterance of your life-force, and of your entire being.

And again: this vocalisation will connect you to the sangen, and in the face of the sangen you must utilize all of your nen-riki  [- the power and functionality of the back of your mind – ], and then you will find your head, your entire body dancing upwards and dancing downwards, and at the same time you will perceive your entire body and spirit being enlivened as you continue to vocalize.

– – – O’Sensei, probably audio-recorded by by Masatake Fujita, transcribed by Sadateru Arikawa Shihan, published in Aiki-Shinzui,  pp. 77-78

…konoha ni shinobu…tani no shitamizu!

In this mountain village
up on the ridge,
the sound of the pines
– and in the rustling of pine-branches I miss
the valley’s sound of waters below….

– – – Princess Shikishi

…the spirit of O’Sensei…

 – – – Kanshu Sunadomari Shihan:

There are many kinds of aikido and that is alright.  As I already said,  techniques evolve and that is perfectly natural. What is essential is your heart,  the state of your spirit.

As time passes, you will doubtless come to practise differently. It is not right simply to pass on what you studied: you, yourself, will take part in the creative process. Techniques will arise of themselves if you think to unite yourself with aite,  instead of thinking of knocking them down. That is an important point.

If you do not enter the world of the spirit,  then you will continue to work on forms which have no meaning, and you will finish by returning to the world of competition and strength. You must train keeping in your heart the spirit of Ueshiba Morihei.  Dojos where the spirit of O’Sensei is preserved and those where it is absent are very different. You feel it instantly.

– – – from French language interview on the Budo no Nayami website

…some waking up haiku, renku, kanbun and waka…

The First Dream of the Year

The year’s first dream:
still in my nose –
the heart of what it is to be a flower…

– – – Chiyo Ni

read more…


Using a rounded piece of wood, know the moon on the water!
– – – the dream of Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi

Do not think about hitting your opponent,
Move without thinking, like moonlight into a leaky cabin.
– – – Yamaoka Tesshu

A man knows for sure:
However hard he hits the flow of a river,
The simple fact of a trace in the water:
–   doesn’t happen.
– – –  Hoshina Chikanori

Michio Hikitsuchi Shihan remembers O’Sensei…


Twenty years, already, have passed since O’SENSEI, that miraculous Budoka without precedent, passed away!

It is truly a pity that we are no longer able to see his divine techniques. I am absolutely certain that KAISO (MORIHEI UESHIBA Sensei) was a KAMI incarnate, because he devoted his entire life to finding a way to perfect Japanese BUDO,  in creating AIKIDO, in which there is no brutal element, just like running water which never stagnates. I have unforgettable memories of KAISO’s words, as we talked of one thing and another. He said to me once: “it is as if the wind were blowing through me”.

KAISO’s BUDO was fresh and spontaneous, and without attachment. It was a true expression of the state of his soul. More than this: his power was absolute, and if you attacked him with an inimical spirit, you were flattened, as if struck by lightening.

It is impossible that a BUDO so fashioned were created by human intelligence…

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The sayings of Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan…

You should never make the same movement twice. If, as you watch a technique, you have the impression that it’s the right hand that’s pushing, well then, probably it’s the left, or even, if it’s not the left that’s pushing, then the right is pulling. If you think that the action happens above,  it is performed below. When you are attacked by a single person, act as if there were four attackers. Try to see better but understand that the thing that is being done is never the thing that you see. That which is apparent is never that which is truly.

Focus on the idea of being endlessly grateful, whatever might be the thoughts and events to which this applies. Say arigatai till you feel your body full of energy, then yoku naru without limiting this wish in any way… For whomever applies this rule, dekinai koto wa nashi. [there is nothing they cannot do].

[The way of aiki is] a Way for the forgetting of the self.

Every time [be] exactly at the center.

Aiki-ken contains [all] the necessary elements for the expression and understanding of the spiritual dimension of aikido.

Hold on to your partner’s arm the way you hold a baby in your arms, and dandle it [OR: cradle it,  rock it gently,  sooth it].

Never be afraid of not having enough energy, give unceasingly to others, and for as long as you do that, energy will come, still stronger, still more alive and abundant in you.

You’re showing too much [of] what you know. From now on, never display more than thirty per cent of your power…  When you teach, also, you must not show more than thirty per cent.

“Why” is an idiotic question. There is no “why”.

– – – reported by André Cognard Shihan  (So-Shihan of Aikido Kobayashi Ryu and designated successor to Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan) in Petit manuel d’aikido,  pp. 52-3, 88, 108, 109, 116, 136;   Vivre sans ennemi, pp.33, 37.

…the sayings of Sasaki Masando Shihan…

There is someone who is not me in my little left finger, in this finger which closes my sword-grip. You can sense it during CHINKON.  The way in which you go from “cupped, round hands” to “triangle hands” [the chinkon mudra]…


If you put yourself into KAMAE and close your eyelids, for example, alternatingly: close them, then re-open them, slowly, then close them, and so on… you notice each time you close your eyes, at that moment, precisely, all your attention goes down to your hara, automatically. It’s strange to notice that! It’s like a little “explosion of the instant”: ISSHUN-BAKUDEN.  From this I draw the conclusion that the ideal would be to do Kokyu-ho with open eyes, but with the same feeling as with the eyes closed….


< Sensei suggests an exercise: :> In seiza, lean your torso forwards, slowly: the whole torso up to the point where your balance breaks… then return to normal and start over, and so on, continuously, very slowly…

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O’Sensei no kuden: peace in the world

This aikido is something that makes the world more peaceful.

– – – reported by Kanshu Sunadomari Shihan, interview in  Gekkan Hiden Magazine, April 2009,  and on the Sangenkai website.