Aikido from the Inside Out


The Principles

What are they?

If the purpose of this book is to provide a series of inner signposts for the principles of aikido, is it possible to describe these principles in meaningful ways? I think it is, but only when you add your own experience to the descriptions.

The princples presented here are drawn from my own study of the process of learning aikido, from my peers who have shared their experiences with me, and from my students who have, often unknowingly, participated in my sometimes unusual experiments.

For the purposes of learning the inner taste of the aikido principles, I've separated them into the following categories:


Harmony, blending, and confluence

Balance and center


Proper distance (ma ai)



In my view, these principles form the core of the aikido experience. The topics covered in the rest of this book are also important, but the principles are clearly the foundation upon which all the rest is built. I hope that, by starting here, you may discover a visceral sense of these principles to guide you through the maze of interpretation and contradictory teachings that you'll encounter on your path.






©1993-1998 Howard Bornstein