Glossary

A

ai harmony, unity, blending
aihanmi basic relation between partners: both have same foot forward (left or right), compare gyakuhanmi
aihanmi katatedori wrist grip, right on right or left on left, also called kosadori, compare gyakuhanmi katatedori
aiki blending/uniting one's ki with that of the partner
aikibatto sword exercises, solo or pair
aikibudo budo based on the aiki principle, earlier name for aikido
aikido the way through the life energy to harmony/unity
aikidoka one who does aikido, specifically on an advanced or professional level
aikido toho Nishio sensei's iaido school
Aikijinja the aikido temple in Iwama
aikijo aikido jo-staff exercises
aikijutsu name on the Daito ryu Martial art, also called aikijujutsu
Aikikai organization and "label" for Ueshiba's aikido
aikiken aikido sword exercises
aikinage aiki-throw, throwing technique
aiki no michi aikido (michi=do)
aikiotoshi aiki-drop, throwing technique
aikitaiso aikido warm-up exercises
aite partner in training
arigato thanks
arigato gozaimasu thanks for something going on
arigato gozaimashita thanks for something completed
ashi leg, foot
ate hit, strike
atemi strike to the body
awase harmonizing/blending movement
ayumiashi altering steps, left and right, like normal walking
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B

barai/harai parry, ward off
batto draw the sword, also called nuki
bo staff, longer than the jo
bokken wooden training sword
bokuto same as bokken
bu war, battle, fight
budo the way of war/battle, the Japanese Martial arts
budoka one who does any budo, specifically on an advanced or professional level
bugei battle art, old term
bukiwaza weapons training
bushi warrior
bushido the way of the warrior
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C

chado tea ceremony
chikara force/strength
choku direct
chokutsuki direct strike with the jo
chudan middle, compare jodan and gedan
chudan kamae guard position with a weapon at belly height
chudan tsuki strike at belly/solar plexus, with weapon or empty hand
chukyusha continuing student, with a mid-level kyu grade
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D

dai big, also o
daisho sword pair, the long and the short sword
Daito ryu aikijutsu school
dame wrong, bad
dan level, black belt grade in budo
dao/tao transcribation of the Chinese word for way, do
deshi student
do way, also michi
dogi training dress, also keikogi
do-in self massage tradition
dojo training hall
dojo cho head of a training hall
doka poem about the way
domo much
domo arigato gozaimas thank you so much, for something going on
domo arigato gozaimashita thank you so much, for something completed
dori take, catch, grab
dosa movement
doshu way leader, head of a budo
dozo please/by all means
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E

embukai public demonstration
empi strike with elbow
eri neck, collar
eridori collar grip by the neck
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F

fukushidoin assisting instructor, title for aikido teacher, 2-3 dan, compare shidoin and shihan
funakogi undo, rowing exercise, also called torifune
furitama exercise to still ki
futaridori/futarigake two attackers
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G

gaeshi/kaeshi returning, reversed
gamae/kamae guard, basic position
gasshuku training camp, lodging together
gedan low, compare jodan and chudan
gedanbarai low block
geiko/keiko training
geri kick
gi dress
giri/kiri cut
go five
gokyo fifth teaching, pinning technique
gomen nasai excuse me
Gorin no sho Book of Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi
gotai hard body, static training, compare jutai, ryutai and kinagare
gyaku reverse, opposite
gyakuhanmi basic relation between partners: they have opposite foot forward, compare aihanmi
gyakuhanmi katatedori wrist grip, right on left or left on right, compare aihanmi katatedori
gyakutsuki strike with opposing arm and leg forward, compare oitsuki
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H

hachi eight
Hagakure Hiding the Leaves, classic samurai book from the 18th century
hai yes
hajime begin
hakama traditional wide pants, used in aikido
handachi half standing
hanmi half body
hanmi gamae angled guard position
hanmi handachiwaza sitting versus standing
hanshi title in kendo, from 8th dan
hantai opposed
happo eight directions, compare shiho
hara stomach
harai/barai sweep away, parry
harakiri cut belly, ritual suicide, also called seppuku
hassogaeshi jo-staff technique
hasso gamae guard with weapon at shoulder level
henkawaza, changing techniques, variations on basic techniques, also shifting from one technique to another
hidari left (right: migi)
hiji elbow
hijidori grip on elbow
hijikimeosae pinning technique, sometimes called rokkyo
hiki pull
hineri twist
hiragana Japanese phonetic writing, compare katakana
hito e mi making the body small, guard position with more of an angle than hanmi
hiza knee
ho method
ho direction, side
hombu head quarters
Hombu dojo head dojo, used for Aikido's head dojo in Tokyo
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I

iaido the art of drawing the Japanese sword
iaito training sword, usually not sharpened
ichi one
ichiban first, best
iie no
iki will power
ikkajo older term for ikkyo
ikki one ki, bottoms up, toast
ikkyo first teaching, pinning technique
ikkyo undo exercise of the basic ikkyo movement
in Japanese for the Chinese concept yin, compare yo
ippon one point
ipponken strike with one knuckle
irimi in to the body, inwards
iriminage inward throw, throwing technique
Iwama Japanese town, where Osensei had a dojo and a home
Iwama ryu Saito sensei's aikido style
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J

jiyuwaza free training
jo wooden staff, 127.5 centimeters
jo awase jo-staff exercises
jodan high, compare chudan and gedan
jodan kamae guard with weapon over head
jodan tsuki strike at head
jodanuke high block
jodo the way of the staff
jodori defense against jo-staff
jokyusha advanced student, with a higher kyu grade, compare chukyusha
ju ten
ju soft
judo the soft way, or the way to softness
jujigarami/jujinage cross throw
jujutsu the soft art
jumbitaiso warm-up exercises, also called aikitaiso
juntsuki strike with the same arm and leg forward, also called oitsuki, compare gyakutsuki
jutai soft body, smooth training, compare gotai, ryutai and kinagare
jutsu technique/art
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K

kaeshi/gaeshi returning, reverse
kaeshitsuki reverse strike with jo-staff
kaeshiwaza counter techniques
kagami biraki Japanese New Year celebration, held January 11
kai club, association
kaiso founder
kaitennage rotation throw, throwing technique
kaitenosae rotation pinning technique
kakaedori embrace
kakarigeiko attackers in line, one after the other
kakudo angle
kamae/gamae guard position
kami divinity
kamiza honorary place in a dojo, compare shomen and shinzen
kampai cheers, toast
kan intuition
kangeiko mid-winter training
kanji ideograms, the Chinese writing
kanren linked, connected
kanrenwaza linked techniques, one technique followed by another, compare renzokuwaza
kansetsu joint (on body)
karatedo the way of the empty hand, or the way through the hand to emptiness
Kashima shintoryu traditional sword school
kata form, pre-decided movements
kata shoulder
katadori shoulder grip
katadori menuchi shoulder grip followed by shomenuchi
katakana Japanese phonetic writing, compare hiragana
katamewaza pinning techniques
katana the Japanese sword, also ken, to and tachi
katate one-hand technique
katatedori wrist-grip
katate ryotedori grip with both hands, also called morotedori
Katori shintoryu traditional sword school
keiko/geiko training
keikogi training dress, also dogi
ken sword, also katana, to and tachi
kendo Japanese fencing
ki spirit, life energy
kiai gathered ki, usually used for shout in budo
ki-aikido Tohei sensei's aikido style
kihon basics
kihonwaza basic training
kikai tanden the ocean of ki in the body's center
kime focusing
kimusubi tying one's ki to that of the partner
kinagare/ki no nagare streaming ki, flowing training, compare gotai, jutai and ryutai
Ki no kenkyukai Tohei sensei's aikido school, also Shinshin toitsu
kiri/giri cut
kirikaeshi turning cut, sword exercise
koan riddle in zen
kobudo older budo
kogeki attack
kogekiho attack techniques
kohai one's junior, compare sempai
Kojiki religious Japanese book from the 8th century
kokoro heart, will, mind, also pronounced shin
kokyu breathing
kokyuho breathing exercise, throwing technique
kokyunage breath throw
kokyu ryoku breath power
kosa cross over, pass
kosadori cross-over grip, same as aihanmi katatedori
koshi hip
koshinage hip throw
kote wrist
kotegaeshi reversed wrist, throwing technique
kotehineri twisted wrist, sankyo
kotemawashi turned wrist, nikyo
kotodama/kototama spirit of words, Japanese sound mystique and cosmology
ku nine
ku emptiness
kubi neck
kubishime neck choke
kuden oral tradition/teaching
kumi group, set
kumijo jo-staff exercises, jo against jo
kumitachi sword exercises, sword against sword
kumite empty handed fight
kumiuchi ancient Japanese wrestling in full armor
kuzushi break balance
kyo principle, learning
kyoshi title in kendo, 6-7 dan
kyu grade before blackbelt, compare dan
kyudo the way of the bow and arrow
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L

‘L’ not used in Japanese
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M

ma distance between training partners
ma-ai harmonious, balanced distance between training partners
mae front, forward, compare ushiro
maegeri straight kick
mae ukemi forward fall
makiwara target for hitting practice in karatedo
maru circle
mawashi revolving, turning
mawashigeri roundhouse kick
mawate turning
me eye
men head
michi way, also do
migi right (left: hidari)
misogi purification, cleansing
mochi hold/grip, also called dori
mochikata gripping attacks
mo ikkai do again
mokuso meditation, also called zazen
moro both
morotedori grip with both hands, also called katate ryotedori
mu nothing, empty
mushin empty mind
mudansha trainee without dan grade, compare yudansha
mune chest
munedori collar grip by the chest
musubi tie together
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N

nagare flow, streaming
nage throw, also used for the one doing the aikido technique, compare tori
nagewaza throwing techniques
naginata Japanese halberd
nakaima here and now
nana seven, also pronounced shichi
nen the purity and unity of the mind
ni two
Nihon/Nippon Japan
Nihongi religious Japanese book from the 8th century
nikajo older name for nikyo
nikyo second teaching, pinning technique
nin person
ninindori two attackers, also called futaridori
ninja courier and spy in old Japan
Nippon/Nihon Japan
Nito ichiryu/Niten ichiryu School of Two Swords/Two Heavens, Musashi's sword school
noto return the sword to the scabbard
nuki draw the sword, also called batto
nukite strike with fingertips
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O

o big, also dai
obi belt
ocha tea
oitsuki strike with same arm and foot forward, also called jontsuki
omote front, surface, compare ura
Omotokyo shintoistic society
onegai shimasu please, asking for something
osae press down, pinning
osensei great teacher, in aikido Morihei Ueshiba
otagai ni rei bow to each others
otoshi drop
oyowaza applied techniques, modified for efficiency
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P

‘P’ rarely used in Japanese
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Q

‘Q’ not used in Japanese
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R

randori disorderly grabbing, free training
rei bow
reigi etiquette, also called reishiki
renshi title in kendo, 4-6 dan
renshu training
renzoku continuous
renzoku uchikomi jo-staff exercise
renzokuwaza consecutive techniques, a series of techniques
ritsurei standing bow
rokkyo sixth teaching, pinning technique, see hijikime osae
roku six
ryo both
ryotedori gripping both wrists
ryu school
ryutai flowing body, fluid training, compare gotai, jutai and kinagare
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S

sabaki action/handling
sake rice wine
samurai to serve, Japanese warrior class
san three
sankajo older term for sankyo
sankaku triangle
sankakutai triangle shape, position of the feet in hanmi
sankyo third teaching, pinning technique
sannindori/sanningake three attackers
sanpo three directions
satori enlightenment in zen
saya scabbard
seika no itten, the one point below the navel, the body center, also called tanden
seiki life energy
seiza correct sitting, sit on knees
sempai one's senior, compare kohai
sen no sen before the attack, countering before the strike
sensei teacher
sensen no sen before before the attack, a leading initiative
seppuku cut belly, ritual suicide with sword, also called harakiri
shi four, also pronounced yon
shiai competition
shiatsu massage
shichi seven, also pronounced nana
shidoin instructor, middle title for aikido teacher, 4-5 dan, compare fukushidoin and shihan
shihan expert example, high title for aikido teacher, from 6 dan, compare fukushidoin and shidoin
shiho four directions
shihonage four directions throw, throwing technique
shikaku square
shikaku dead angle
shiki courage
shikko knee walking
shime choke
shin heart, will, mind, also pronounced kokoro
shinai kendo sword of bamboo
Shindo Musoryu jodo-school
shinken sharp authentic Japanese sword
Shinshin toitsu Tohei sensei's aikido school, Ki no kenkyukai
shinto the way of the gods, Japanese religion
shinzen seat of the gods, in a dojo usually a position on the wall farthest from the entrance, compare kamiza and shomen
shisei posture
shite the one leading, defender in aikido, also called tori or nage
shizentai natural body posture
sho first, beginning
shodan first dan grade
shodo calligraphy
Shodokan Tomiki sensei's aikido school
shomen front of the head
shomen head place of the dojo, compare shinzen and kamiza
shomen ni rei bow to head place of the dojo
shomenuchi cut or blow to head
shoshinsha beginner
shuto hand ridge strike
sode sleeve
sodedori sleeve grip
sodeguchidori grip on the cuff of the sleeve
soto outside, outer, compare uchi
sotodeshi student who lives outside the dojo, compare uchideshi
sotokaiten outer rotation, compare uchikaiten
sotouke block from outside, compare uchiuke
suburi basic exercises with sword or staff
suki opening
sumi corner
sumikiri sharpness of body and mind
sumimasen excuse me
sumo traditional Japanese wrestling
suri rub, scrape
sutemiwaza techniques with losing one's own balance
suwariwaza seated training, also called suwate
suwate seated training, also called suwariwaza
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T

tachi sword, also to, ken and katana
tachi stand
tachidori defense against sword
tachiwaza training standing up
tai body
taijutsu body techniques, unarmed techniques
tai no henko body turn, also called tai no tenkan
tai no tenkan body turn, also called tai no henko
taisabaki body move, evasive movement in aikido
taiso exercises
takemusu improvised Martial art
takemusu aiki improvised Martial art through the principle of aiki
tameshi test
tameshigiri cutting test with sword
tameshiware hitting test in karatedo
tanbo short staff
tanden body center, compare seika no itten
taninzugake several attackers
tanren drill techniques
tanto/tanken knife
tantodori defense against knife
tao/dao Chinese for do
tatami mat
tate stand up
te hand
tegatana hand sword, hand ridge in swordlike movements
tekubi wrist
tekubiosae pinned wrist, yonkyo
tenchinage heaven-earth throw, throwing technique
tenkan turn
tettsui hammer strike
to sword, also ken, tachi and katana
tobigeri jump kick
tobikoshi fall over hip, break fall
tomauchi jo-staff technique
tori the one who takes, defender in aikido, also called nage and shite
torifune rowing exercise, also called funakogi undo
tsuba sword guard
tsugiashi following step, back foot following and not passing front foot
tsuka sword hilt
tsuki strike, with a weapon or empty hand
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U

uchi hit
uchi inside, within, inner, compare soto
uchideshi student living in the dojo, compare sotodeshi
uchikaiten inner rotation, compare sotokaiten
uchikata striking and hitting attack forms
uchikomi hitting repeatedly
uchiuke block from inside, compare sotouke
ude arm
udekimenage arm lock throw
udenobashi extended arm, gokyo
udeosae pinned arm, ikkyo
uke the one receiving, attacker in aikido
uke block, parry
ukemi falling
undo exercise
ura backside, inside, reverse side, compare omote
uraken backhand strike
ushiro behind, backwards, compare mae
ushirogeri backward kick
ushiro kiriotoshi rear cutting drop, throwing technique
ushiro ukemi backward fall
ushirowaza attacks from behind
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V

‘V’ not used in Japanese
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W

waka sensei young teacher, used in aikido for successor of Doshu
waki side
wakizashi short sword
ware break, split
waza technique, skill, training method
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X

‘X’ not used in Japanese
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Y

yame stop
yang sunny side, heavenly, in Japanese yo, compare yin
yari spear
yawara old jujutsu
yin shady side, earthly, in Japanese in, compare yang
yo Japanese for yang
yoko side, sideways, horizontal
yokogeri side kick
yokogiri horisontal cut
yokomen side of the head
yokomenuchi strike to the side of the head
yoko ukemi side fall
yon four, also pronounced shi
yonkajo older term for yonkyo
yonkyo fourth teaching, pinning technique
Yoseikan Mochizuki sensei's aikido school
Yoshinkan Shioda sensei's aikido school
yudansha dan graded, compare mudansha
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Z

za seated, sit
Zaidan Hojin Aikikai Aikikai Foundation
zanshin remaining spirit, continued concentration
zarei sitting bow
zazen sitting meditation, also called mokuso
zen a form of buddhism
zengo around, forward and back, front and rear
zori sandals
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Numbers

1 ichi
2 ni
3 san
4 shi / yon
5 go
6 roku
7 shichi / nana
8 hachi
9 ku
10 ju
20 ni-ju
21 ni-ju-ichi
100 hyaku
1000 sen
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O'sensei quotes

“To practice properly Aikido, you must: Calm the spirit and return to the source.”

“Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire.”

“Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love.”

“Budo is not a means of felling the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world, as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form.”

“If your opponent tries to pull you, let him pull. Don't pull against him; pull in unison with him.”

“Aikido does not rely on weapons or brute force to succeed; instead we put ourselves in tune with the universe, maintain peace in our own realms, nurture life, and prevent death and destruction.”

“The true meaning of the term "samurai" is one who serves and adheres to the power of love.”

“Foster and polish the warrior spirit while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light.”

“Even though our path is completely different from the warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon totally the old ways. Absorb venerable traditions into this Art by clothing them with fresh garments, and building on the classic styles to create better forms.”

“Day after day train your heart out, refining your technique: Use the One to strike the Many! That is the discipline of the Warrior.”

“The Way of a Warrior cannot be encompassed by words or in letters: grasp the essence and move on toward realization!”

“The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”

“Iron is full of impurities that weaken it; through the forging fire, it becomes steel and is transformed into a razor-sharp sword. Human beings develop in the same fashion.”

“Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of Aikido are brought to life.”

“The Way of a Warrior is based on humanity, love, and sincerity; the heart of martial valor is true bravery, wisdom, love, and friendship. Emphasis on the physical aspects of warriorship is futile, for the power of the body is always limited.”

“A true warrior is always armed with three things: the radiant sword of pacification; the mirror of bravery, wisdom, and friendship; and the precious jewel of enlightenment.”

“Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Because it is non-resistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. Aikido is invincible because it contends with nothing.”

“There are no contests in Aikido.”

“A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.”

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. ”

“In Aikido we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it. ”

“Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there. Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere. ”

“The real Art of Peace is not to sacrifice a single one of your warriors to defeat an enemy. Vanquish your foes by always keeping yourself in a safe and unassailable position; then no one will suffer any losses. The Way of a Warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony. ”

“In your training do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all-knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in Aikido.”

“Progress comes to those who train and train. Reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.”

“Aikido can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! "True victory" means unflinching courage; "self-victory" symbolizes unflagging effort; and "let that day arrive quickly" represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now. ”

“Cast off limiting thoughts and return to true emptiness. Stand in the midst of the Great Void. This is the secret of the Way of a Warrior.”

“The techniques of Aikido change constantly; every encounter is unique, and the appropriate response should emerge naturally. Today's techniques will be different tomorrow. Do not get caught up with the form and appearance of a challenge. Aikido has no form - it is the study of the spirit. ”

“Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path.”

“The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet, and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely. The physical center is your belly; if your mind is set there as well, you are assured of victory in any endeavor. ”

“The techniques of Aikido are neither fast nor slow, nor are they inside or outside. They transcend time and space.”

“Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer. ”

“Life itself is always a trial. In training, you must test and polish yourself in order to face the great challenges of life. Transcend the realm of life and death, and then you will be able to make your way calmly and safely through any crisis that confronts you. ”

“Always try to be in communion with heaven and earth; then the world will appear in its true light. Self-conceit will vanish, and you can blend with any attack. ”

“Move like a beam of light: fly like lightning, strike like thunder, whirl in circles around a stable center. ”

“Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space. ”

“The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangle represents the generation of energy and is the most stable physical posture. The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques. The square stands for solidity, the basis of applied control. ”

“If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth.”

“One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.”

“Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.”

“As soon as you concern yourself with the 'good' and 'bad' of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.”

“Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit - love.”

“The art of Peace I practice has room for each of the world's eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.”

“Mankind's role is to fulfil his heaven-sent purpose through a sincere heart that is in harmony with all creation and loves all things.”

“Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.”

“In extreme situations, the entire universe becomes our foe; at such critical times, unity of mind and technique is essential - do not let your heart waver!”

“Create each day anew.”