“The Spirit of Aikido” Workshop by Gary Ohama

A unique workshop on “The Spirit of Aikido” will be presented by Professor John Stevens. AiKiDo is “the Way of a Spirit of Harmony.” This spirit of harmony has many dimensions. Kototama (Sound Spirit) is one of the means in which the body is trained to move with breath and sound sources. This is usually thought of as a power enhancer (KiAi), However, the most subtle yet highly connective life essence placed into a body movement, sword cut, brush stroke, or musical instrument are all part of Kototama. Misogi (cleansing) also brings into existence, and into the “here and now,” the many dimensions of life and activity. Kototama and Misogi are two of the spiritual foundations of Aikido. They are reflective of Eastern concepts of mastery.

Zen Calligraphy is also one of the pursuits which reflect the mastery of these spiritual foundations. Such mastery includes the ability to “spiritually” brush both the “male” and “female” (yin/yang) as well as the “horse/dragon.” The essence is that one has the ability to perform and dwell in the total dimensions of life. Therefore one of the dimensions of a master in Eastern Martial Arts is the totality of the tactical mastery reflected in the “brush” (Sword and Brush).

Aikido is unique in the martial arts because of the aspects of “AiKi.” The spiritual implications of blending and harmony are a never ending pursuit.
Morihei Ueshiba brings all these internal/spiritual concepts into his martial art of Aikido. Understanding Ueshiba’s philosophy is critical to understanding the path of his Aikido; as well as making Aikido perform as he intended (or did.)
Professor John Stevens will present a workshop on “The Spirit of Aikido” this Fall. Info is in the “Events” section of aikidojournal.com.


  1. Dan Harden says:

    Will Mr. Stevens be presenting materials beyond the lecture format? In other words will he be presenting his theories and opinions on the Kotodama and Ueshiba’s Aikido that are physically evident…”on the mat?”
    With and without weapons?

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