- I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.
At that moment I was enlightened: the source of Budo is God's love — the spirit of loving protection for all beings … Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.
- An account of an experience of transcendent awareness, soon after a contest where, unarmed, he defeated a naval officer armed with a bokken (wooden sword) without harming him; as quoted in Aikido (1985) by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
- I am the Universe.
- As quoted in Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba (1987) by John Stevens
- Shihonage is the foundation of Aikido. All you ever need to master is shihonage.
- Shihonage (or Shiho-nage the "Four Corner Throw") is a technique of maintaining control over an opponent in Aikido, as quoted in Aikido Shugyo (1991) by Gōzō Shioda, p. 61
- Kicking leaves you momentarily on one foot, and for that moment you are in a very weak position. If you were to be swept off your feet, you would be finished. This is why lifting your feet off the ground is crazy.
- As quoted in Aikido Shugyo (1991) by Gōzō Shioda, p. 79
- Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.
- As quoted in It's A Lot Like Dancing… : An Aikido Journey (1993 by Terry Dobson Riki Moss, and Jan E. Watson - ISBN 9781883319021
- In a real battle, atemi is seventy percent, technique is thirty percent.
- As quoted in Total Aikido (1997) by Gōzō Shioda, p. 24
- Aikido is Love.
- As quoted in Enlightenment Through Aikido (2004) by Kanshu Sunadomari, p. 135
- 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.
- Morihei Ueshiba, as quoted in You Can Save the Earth: 7 Reasons Why and 7 Simple Ways, a Philosophy for the Future (2008) by Hatherleigh, Sean K. Smith, and Andrew Flach, p. 92
- The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter — it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.
- Speaking of a vision of the "Great Spirit of Peace" in 1942, during World War II, as quoted in Adjusting Though Reflex : Romancing Zen (2010) by Rodger Hyodo, p. 76
Budo Training in Aikido (1933)
- As your Bujutsu [Martial Technique] training approaches perfection you will be able to detect the suki [opening/weakness] [in your enemy's technique], even before he can, and as if to satisfy some deficiency in him, you can fill the suki with your technique. (p. 26)
- True Budo is practiced not only to destroy an enemy, it must also make him, or his own will, gladly lose his spirit (seishin) to oppose you. (p. 26)
- True Budo is done for the sake of "building peace". Train every day so as to make peace between this spirit [Budo] and all things manifested on the face of the Earth. (p. 26)
- When facing the realm of life and death in the form of an enemy's sword, one must be firmly settled in mind and body, and not at all intimidated; without providing your opponent the slightest opening, control his mind in a flash and move where you will — straight, diagonally, or in any other appropriate direction.
- p. 31
- Regarding technique, from ancient times it has been said that movements must fly like lightning and attacks must strike like thunder.
- p. 33
- Always imagine yourself on the battlefield under the fiercest attack; never forget this crucial element of training.
- p. 36
The Art of Peace (1992)
- A compilation of sayings by Ueshiba, as translated by John Stevens ISBN 0877738513 - ISBN 1-57062-964-1
- 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.
- 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 weakens and defeats you.
- Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in the Art of Peace.
- Even the most powerful human being has a limited sphere of strength. Draw him outside of that sphere and into your own, and his strength will dissipate.
- If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.
- In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. Strength resides where one's ki is concentrated and stable; confusion and maliciousness arise when ki stagnates.
- In the Art of Peace 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.
- Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to life.
- Move like a beam of light;
Fly like lightning,
Strike like thunder,
Whirl in circles around
A stable center.
- One should be prepared to receive ninety-nine percent of an enemy's attack and stare death right in the face in order to illumine the Path.
- 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 Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.
- The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.
- 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.
- There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.
- To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.
- When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.
- When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.
- When you bow deeply to the universe, it bows back; when you call out the name of God, it echoes inside you.
- In order to establish heaven on earth, we need a Budo that is pure in spirit, that is devoid of hatred and greed. It must follow natural principles and harmonize the material with the spiritual. Aikido means not to kill. Although nearly all creeds have a commandment against taking life, most of them justify killing for reason or another. In Aikido, however, we try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.