…….observations and thoughts for contemplation and inspiration


Morihei Ueshiba - O’sensei

14th December1883  -  26th April 1969

The beginning,

For if it was not for O’Sensei’s insight, dreams and dedication…..


Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei

27th June 1921 - 4th January 1999)

Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei

2nd April 1951- present



After an evening of practice

A Student of approx. 3 weeks practice said.. “I am trying to understand Ikkyo

A Student of approx. 16 months practice said.. “I am trying to understand Ikkyo

A Student & Sensei of several years practice said “I am trying to understand Ikkyo


T. Kazuo Chiba Shihan

No such thing…

“There is no such thing as a failure or a loser in life, except when we become a failure or a loser in ourselves”


Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan

No matter…

“We must keep the spirit of Aikido and Budo no matter how we practice”

Steven Seagal Sensei

Beyond force…

"With Aikido, you have to unlearn first.  That is why it is so hard.

You are learning something that is very, very sophisticated.

It is something that Warriors, after hundreds and hundreds of years of dedicated endeavors, of life and death situations, have finally figured out that there is a point of least resistance, and that there is something

that works beyond strength...physical strength.

It is 'Ki', its attitude and its adept movements that seem to go beyond force and that a lot of times using strength is completely secondary to learning a way.

It is moving without resistance, a non-resistant movement, a relaxed movement.

So you have to unlearn in order to learn.  It does take longer."


Warrior of peace…

"Budo means to stop war.  Stop arms, stop war.  So Budoka is a heihoka, a warrior is really a warrior of peace, or a man of peace. You have to be powerful enough to stop war, because if you're weak you can't stop war.  And Budo has that yin and yang, it has that Tate to yoko no ito, izu no mitama to mizu no mitama.  They are all Shinto terms. Yoko no ito means moon, feminine, water, love, the power of forgiveness, the power of love. Tate no ito means sun, we talk about masculine, we talk about fire, we talk about the power of decision. That is the time when you don't forgive, that is the power to cut."


G. McMaster


“It is not only what you choose to know…

It is what you choose to ignore.”

Darrel Haigh Sensei


"Remember the wisdom of being patient, your eyes and ears stay open, the mouth, unless asked for, is not needed but only to breathe".



One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate,  the Buddha called to him,

"Manjusri,  Manjusri, why do you not enter?"

Manjusri replied,

 "I do not see myself as outside.  Why enter?"


T. Kazuo Chiba Shihan


"I try to stick to the traditional ways as much as possible.  The martial warrior spirit is something I admire greatly and is something I try to preserve.

The combative arts have a profound body history in them and I don't want to lose it. But it's more than that.  We follow the art which is struggle.  And through the struggle, we transcend into the path of Aikido.  Eventually, it brings harmony between you and the external world."




“In time; with practice, start not to intellectualize or think technique,

But feel technique, experience technique.”



“How can you expect to control the attacker if you cannot control yourself?

First Control Self.”

Darrel Haigh Sensei

For yourself…

“Do your Martial art for yourself (sounds selfish until you think about it):-
In kyu grades this means learn for yourself never follow anyone else, think of the technique for yourself as this can mean many things to other people but they are not you and their ability is different to yours.  It’s the kyu grade’s path to Dan grade- no one else’s.
For Dan grades i think Do the Martial Art for yourself means this:-
If you don’t understand your own way and your own beliefs then your students may lose the way or path, you must want to do your Martial art to teach your students , my club is somewhere i can help others achieve their goals, I want to learn more from my students and i want to teach them all i have learnt so i can say i do my martial art for me so that i can help others to help me teach my sensei's teachings.”


G. McMaster


“Nobody is perfect”


Martin Lonsdale, Sensei/ZKA student

Achieving, nothing…

“If you achieve your goal (for instance, black belt ‘status’), and think there is nothing left to achieve.  Then you have achieved nothing at all.”



“If you owe someone an obligation- no matter how long a time,

It is not for them to remind you; It is for you not to forget.


Philip Smith, ZKA student

No bad nights…

“You don’t really have bad nights, you just have some nights that enlighten others”



Alan Pirie Sensei

1927 – 1995

Something good…

“If you can not find something good to say about someone, don’t say anything”

A memory courtesy of

Glyn Evans Sensei




“From the summit,

look to the next”


Joe Curran Sensei


“Just keep studying and do your best-there's no magic formula. Just enjoy the Art and be sincere in your study”



You will have many questions,

the more you learn,

the more questions will arise.

Martin Lonsdale, ZKA student


“People say- ‘The more you put in, the more you get out’.

With Aikido, with practice (and insight) the less you put in, the more you get out.”


Philip Smith, ZKA student


“An open mind can accept and redirect.

A closed mind will face conflict and struggle.”


Keith Hayward Sensei


“Do not separate, keep to centre and remember

Timing, Contact, Movement, Position, Technique.”


G. McMaster

One day…

“Maybe one day; but for now…,

focus on now


Henry Ellis Sensei

Nothing more…

As a direct student of the legendary Budo master Kenshiro Abbe Sensei from 1957, I have worked endlessly to protect our Aikido history and proud lineage. We must remember the words of Abbe Sensei "No matter your pretence! You are what you are and nothing more "The early Aikido was a martial art, the dojo was a martial arts dojo and not a social club, Remember the quote of Abbe Sensei before multiplying your grade or title "No matter your pretence!  You are what you are and nothing more 

Gwynne Jones Sensei


“An error does not become a mistake unless you refuse to correct it”


Christian Tissier Sensei


Spirit and Humility…

“Strength of spirit… not arrogance,

Humility… not weakness”



“Some qualities in one’s life, such as Integrity, do not come cheap, yet cannot be bought; however, out of ego, some sell it for nothing”


            Arthur Lockyear Sensei


“I first met my teacher, Chiba Sensei, in September of 1969 when as a young Karate student I visited the old Sunderland Martial Arts Academy where he was teaching a course.  Two things particularly struck me about his Aikido; his martial dynamism and his level of control.  His dynamism was embodied by movements that were expansive, awesome and yet graceful, but at the same time economical.

He employed a use of atemi that complimented the flow of energy between uke and tori, and brought to the proceedings a powerful martial edge that was breathtaking.

His control of each partner was absolute, projecting them in such a fashion that they were able to safely respond with ukemi.  As I sat and watched Chiba Sensei lead this class, I was deeply impressed by his powerful presence, he was like a panther stalking the dojo, relaxed, but seemingly aware of every nuance of the Aikido being practiced, all that was happening around him.  His Zan Shin (awareness, martial perceptivity and responsiveness) was almost a tangible thing.  This was a pivotal moment in my life, and I have been deeply impressed and influenced by this great martial artist ever since.  His development of Aikido body arts, founded on and structured by the principles of sword and stick, do I believe, create new and radical perspectives on traditional arts without betraying their martial lineage and values.

Chiba Sensei is for me the Beethoven or Leonardo Da Vinci of modern Aikido”


Adaptation from the film;

The Last Samurai…


“They are an intriguing people.  From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue.

I have never seen such discipline.

Understand that the word Samurai means, ‘to serve’.”


(We are not samurai, but such virtues are for all, and may live on; not in words,

but in what we do)

(Anon) The Way…

“Practice and study Aikido and Budo and seek to live the Way.

Making all welcome, no politics, no conceit nor belittling;

Do not concern yourself with those who turn away,

They are uncomfortable when faced with integrity and humility.

In this day of so many wanting and taking the easy way, and attitudes of convenience; it is refreshing, continue, respect the traditional ways and values”


Master Wei Chueh

Let go…

"No matter how much external circumstances change, if one can see through the outer manifestation and let go of vexations, delusions, and attachments, with the mind always in equanimity and suchness, having clarity and true understanding, then that is Chan (Zen)."  (Consider as Mushin (No - mind)



“Ordinary people do not have ordinary minds, for ordinary people have too many confusions, worries, and afflictions in their minds.  Even when conducting daily activities, the minds of ordinary people are not in equanimity and suchness because of self-centered judgments and unneeded discriminations.  A disturbed, confused mind is not the tranquil, pure mind of Chan (Zen).”


(Anon) Choice……

“It is lamentable, those that feign that they are on the path of Budo, they augment their self-delusion behind veiled desperation, in vain hope that the pedestals they build for themselves might not collapse beneath them.

  Arrogantly and self importantly seeking accolades and the approval of sycophants.

Such ignoble spirits do not even try to walk the illuminated path; by their own choice they travel merely a tainted imitation of what might have been


Vince Thompson Sensei

One throw

One throw equals a thousand words”


Pat Neary Sensei

“I don’t know”


What does your grade say…?

“Whatever obi/belt you wear (whether white, colour or black) does not necessarily denote quality…

Quality is proven by the standard of your ability, your attitude and integrity”


An open mind…

“Keep an open mind, because just as something old is not necessarily best,

so something new is not necessarily better”

G. McMaster


“People may change

Dynamics may change

Principles remain the same”


Thank you for each contribution…

The  Insights  page  will  grow  as  further  content  is  received.


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