These are the words of Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido (Osensei):
Taking this description to heart requires us to embrace the value of those who would attack us and to transcend the fear that may reside in us, so that everyone benefits from the interaction. Aikido is training in proactive compassion.
In viewing aikido as a spiritual art, one must seek understanding of the spiritual nature of the desire to attack. We naturally are conscious of our connection to the source of our being through love. This conscious connection is a fundamental need of living beings.
At its fundamental level, an attack arises from the attacker's need to consciously connect to the source of his or her being. When the natural conduits of ki transmission are unconstricted the expression of it is life affirming and the feeling of well being is promoted.
But when conduits of transmission are constricted by fear (arising from a lack of consciousness of connection to source) ki becomes destructive, the same way a fire hose nozzle made to constrict the flow of water until it can reach several stories to put out a fire can be used violently as crowd control.
Once we can see those who would attack us as asking us for our devine attention we can answer them with beneficent intention. The way we manifest aiki when we offer beneficent intention is akin to opening the nozzle of fire hose so broadly that the flow expresses as a spray or mist that would cool off and refresh the crowd.
The practice of aikido is a tool for self perfection and purification because with the help of our partners we become conscious of the covert operations of our ego/intellect to protect the self at the expense of peace. As we uncover the pockets of resistance within ourselves we become increasingly able to find effective and lasting resolution to life's daily conflicts in ways that feel good to us and those who would target us with their need for connection.
At Kakushi Toride Aikido dojo we feel that it is important that one's aikido be both martially sound and beneficial to everyone involved. If one's expression of aiki is dangerous or detrimental to anyone, whether attacker, aikidoka or bystander, the highest goal of the art has not been met. For aikido to truly bring peace to the world and its human inhabitants we must learn to see and treat no one as our enemy.
Aikido is not the art of fighting using brute strength or deadly weapons, or the use of physical power or deadly weapons to destroy one's enemies, but a way of harmonizing the world and unifying the human race as one family. It is a path of service that works through the spirit of God's love and universal harmony by the fulfillment of each individual's respective role. This way is the way of the universe; the training in Aiki is training in divine technique. Begin to put this into practice, and the power of the universe will come forth, and you will be in accord with the universe itself.