|Rules during practice (English Version only)|
These Rules were given by Ueshiba Morihei himself . There are a lot of abbreviated versions circulating, but I have taken the original translation given in the book "aikido", by Ueshiba Kisshomaru in spite of what some people feel to be archaic language. They might reflect the founders ideas more directly than the abridged versions.
The comments reflect my own thoughts and experience.
Checking this rules occasionally and comparing them to your own training habits might aid your progress.
1 One blow in Aikido is capable of killing an opponent. In practice, obey your instructor, and do not make the practice period a time for needless testing of strength.
Sometimes you hear remarks like “But you have to decide if the technique is efficient, so the Partner has to try to block at least occasionally”. That’s complete nonsense. What you practise in class, are natural and flowing movements with a certain feeling in your own body and a sharp perception for the state of the partners body and the whole situation, distance, rhythm etc. If you develop this feeling and perception, than you easily can execute any technique. If an opponent tries to block, he might end up hurt badly. Or you switch to atemi and it becomes even worse for him. And you don’t want that kind of situation during practice.
Now developing this feeling and perception is only possible by diligently practicing natural and flowing movements together with your partner and not against him or her.
2 Aikido is an art in which one person learns to face many opponents simultaneously. It therefore requires that you polish and perfect your execution of each movement so that you can take on not only the one directly before you but also those approaching from every direction.
See feeling and perception above.
3 Practice at all times with a feeling of pleasurable exhilaration.
It is much more easy to practice natural and flowing movements when feeling pleasurable and when seeing all kinds of situations in the light of a smile. In this frame of mind it is also easy to expand your limits regarding stamina and toughness.
4 The teachings of your instructor constitute only a small fraction of what you will learn. Your mastery of each movement will depend almost entirely on individual, earnest practice.
The importance of the teacher is generally overestimated. If two beginners meet, than the more advanced one can call a technique he has learned already, and they can have a pleasurable and fruitful practice just by adhering to the rules.
5 Daily practice begins with light movements of the body, gradually increasing in intensity and strength; but there must be no over-exertion. That is why even an elderly person can continue to practice with pleasure and without bodily harm; and why he will attain the goal of his training.
6 The purpose of Aikido is to train both body and mind and to make a person sincere. All Aikido arts are secret in nature and are not to be revealed publicly, nor taught to hoodlums who will use them for evil purposes.