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the way of the warrior..

December 10, 2011

1. Calm the spirit and return to the source.
Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire. 
 
2. Foster and polish the warrior spirit while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light. 
 
3. The Way of a Warrior cannot be encompassed by words or in letters: grasp the essence and move on toward realization! 
 
4. 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. 
 
5. 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. 
 
6. Move like a beam of light: fly like lightning, strike like thunder, whirl in circles around a stable center. 
 
7. 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. 
 
8. 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. 
 
9. 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. 
 
10. Progress comes to those who train and train. Reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere. 
11. Your spirit is the true shield. 
 
12. 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. 
 
13. Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of training is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand where you like. 
 
14. Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path.

(collected quotes from Ueshiba, on Aikido)

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