Recommended reading: “Interview with Kisaburo Osawa” by Katsuaki Terasawa

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Only a fool would brag that he could win a fight against 10 men, a pistol or a machine gun. I think that as a result of regular, hard training a person necessarily feels humble. Aikido training is indeed very severe, but you have to teach the safest way possible. If students have a clear goal in mind you have to teach them well so they do not lose interest. Don’t stop working hard! If a student tires you must take him by the hand; if he falls down you extend your hand and help him up. From the student’s point of view, if he stumbles before reaching his goal, I think he should observe his teacher and follow his example. I don’t know how others feel, but that is my opinion.

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  1. I was honored to see Osawa sensei once in San Francisco in the mid ’70’s. I must have been sick because I was only a spectator. The first impression as he walked out was his totally erect posture. This was reflected in his techniques which he executed with crisp precision. After he had thrown a bunch of big young Americans around he gave a little speech. When he said that he was old and had no strength the crowd roared with laughter. Little did we suspect it was probably the literal truth and the heart of his lesson.

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