Aikido is more than a martial art - it is a way of mastering life. The founder, O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, considered aikido a way of creating peace and making the world a better place:
- Take responsibility for your life
- Solve conflicts peacefully
- Build friendships all over the world
Mutual respect is key for aikido practice. We are looking forward to practising with you, independent of your birthplace or the colour of your skin, of the language you speak and whether you are here permanently or just stay with us for some time, independent of your gender and of whom you love, independent of your age or personal history, independent of your religious or ideological views, independent of the size of your bank account or the number of degrees you have obtained, independent of whether you are in perfect physical and mental shape or deal with challenges - as long as we keep an open mind and treat each other with kindness and modesty.
We expect our dojo members to act responsibly, to refrain from premature generalisations, and to accept the possiblity that their own beliefs or skills may need adjustment. Without these character traits it is not possible to seriously practise aikido.
In aikido we practice in close physical proximity to each other, which is not easy for everyone, and we practice movements that can be very challenging at the beginning. Therefore, we make sure that we give our practice partners time to get used to the unfamiliar proximity and to work on the movements at their own speed. The best way to do this is by showing rather than talking. It goes without saying that we are mindful regarding what touches are perceived as appropriate by our partners.
This attitude is supported by the aikido etiquette which is followed in dojos around the world.