Recommended reading: “Fundamental Principles of Aikido” by Stanley Pranin

The article below from 1986 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.

The selection of the topic for this article came about as the result of a very kind letter from a totally unexpected quarter: Minoru Mochizuki Sensei of the Yoseikan Dojo in Shizuoka. Mochizuki Sensei’s letter was in response to the editorial I wrote in the last issue entitled “Suggestions for the Elimination of Abuses in Dan Rankings”. I was asked to elaborate on my view of the essential nature of Aikido in light of the subject covered in the above article.

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 800 articles in twenty different languages and numerous video clips. We are constantly adding new articles and translations in our effort to document aikido and related disciplines past and present. If you would like to support us in this effort by taking out a subscription to the Online Aikido Journal we welcome you to do so by clicking this link. Remember that if you subscribe or renew for two years you will now receive both the Aiki News / Aikido Journal Archival DVD and Stanley Pranin’s latest book Aikido Pioneers-Prewar Era absolutely free of charge. Don’t pass up this special offer!
Click here to read entire article.


  1. “Defensive” as a description of aikido has all sorts of negative connotations, and more importantly, implications. Might “protective” be a better word, at least in English?

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