Morihei Ueshiba

Quotes from the founder O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba

Originally published on

In front the enemy prepares to attack, but behind him, I am already standing

Cut down the enemy within ones self

True budo cannot be described by words or letters the gods will not allow you to make such explanations

Techniques of the sword cannot be encompassed by words or letters. Do not rely on such things-move on toward enlightenment

No voice can be heard, no heart can be seen. Follow the divine and their will be nothing to ask of the gods

From ancient times deep learning and Budo have been twim wheels of the path. Through the virtue of practice enlighten both the body and soul. 30 years ago I was extremely weak of body. At that time I secretly harbored a dream. In this dream I wanted to be the strongest man in all of Japan – no, more than that, in the entire world! I decided I would become the possessor of a martial power unequaled by anyone. With this dream before me I trained severely. One day a navy man confronted me, a person said to be a 7th dan holder in Kendo. Strangely, as I faced him I felt as if my body was surrounded by a shining brightness and I easily secured victory.

After that, however, a conceited feeling was born inside of me, and while walking through a garden I thought that innumerable golden threads came down to me from the universe. Then, a golden light whelmed up from the earth and engulfed me. Eventually I attained a feeling that my body was turned into a body of gold that expanded to universal proportions. Here I felt that the God(s) were chastising me for my ever-growing conceit and I cried tears of gratitude.

In the past, there have been a number of superlative masters of martial arts but we should never forget the great number of them who disappeared on the battlefield of this material world simply for lack of enough training in the true spirit of budo, in sincere love, and in the battle against the self.

Thus, by imbibing the principle of the Universal, and receiving the ki of the Heaven and Earth, when I unified this entire human body, I realized the subtle depth of Aikido that manifests such great power, and attained the principle of oneness with the Universe.

The authentic core of Japanese bujutsu must remain in its progressiveness. The Universe is continually advancing and in that same truth bujutsu must also move forward. Advancing is always a safe course but if you retreat you will be cut by the enemy. Therefore, we see that Japanese budo is performed through advancing and unifying all things into Goodness. Bujutsu must be in accordance with the rotation of the heavens and the earth. The human body is a miniature universe, a small version of the cosmos. If you want to train in bujutsu unify your spirit. The body is trained according to the “Way” exactly as the spirit thinks and so we are able to unify the body as well.

Morihei Ueshiba