The principle of avoiding conflict and never opposing an aggressor’s strength head-on is the essence of aikido. We apply the same principle to problems that arise in life. The skilled aikidoist is as elusive as the truth of Zen; he makes himself into a koan—a puzzle which slips away the more one tries to solve it. He is like water in that he falls through the fingers of those who try to clutch him. Water does not hesitate before it yields, for the moment the fingers begin to close it moves away, not of its own strength, but by using the pressure applied to it. It is for this reason, perhaps, that one of the symbols for aikido is water.

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The mind is like a fertile garden,” Bruce said. “It will grow anything you wish to plant—beautiful flowers or weeds. And so it is with successful, healthy thoughts or with negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.

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We are like blades of grass or trees of the forest, creations of the universe, of the spirit of the universe, and the spirit of the universe has neither life nor death. Vanity is the only obstacle to life.

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For the uncontrolled there is no wisdom, nor for the uncontrolled is there the power of concentration; and for him without concentration there is no peace. And for the unpeaceful, how can there be happiness?

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For example, if you are fearful your mind will freeze, motion will be stopped and you will be defeated. If your mind is fixed on victory or defeating your opponent, you will be unable to function automatically.

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Those who are patient in the trivial things in life and control themselves will one day have the same mastery in great and important things.

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Only after several years of training did I come to realize that the deepest purpose of the martial arts is to serve as a vehicle for personal spiritual development.

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To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill.

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Always remember: in life as well as on the mat an unfocused or ‘loose’ mind wastes energy.

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Only through practice and more practice, until you can do something without conscious effort.

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When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way.

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When an untoward event occurs in your life, react to it without haste or passion.

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When you lose your temper, you lose yourself—on the mat as well as in life.

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What stands in the way of effortless effort is caring, or a conscious attempt to do well.

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A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action.

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I can defeat you physically with or without a reason. But I can only defeat your mind with a reason.

― Joe Hyams, Zen in the Martial Arts

The primary thing when you take a sword in your hands is your intention to cut the enemy, whatever the means. Whenever you parry, hit, spring, strike or touch the enemy’s cutting sword, you must cut the enemy in the same movement. It is essential to attain this. If you think only of hitting, springing, striking or touching the enemy, you will not be able actually to cut him.

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Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.

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You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.

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There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.

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Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.

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The important thing in strategy is to suppress the enemy’s useful actions but allow his useless actions

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The only reason a warrior is alive is to fight, and the only reason a warrior fights is to win.

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Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.

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You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.

― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Mistakes are our teachers,’ explained Sensei Yamada, bowing before the Buddha. ‘As long as you recognize them for what they are, they can help you learn about life. Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.

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Anyone can give up; it is the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone would expect you to fall apart, now that is true strength.

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Each mistake teaches you something new about yourself. There is no failure, remember, except in no longer trying. It is the courage to continue that counts.

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Impatience is a hindrance. As with all things if you attempt to take shortcuts, the final destination will rarely be as good and may even be attainable.

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A samurai must remain calm at all times even in the face of danger.

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The impossible becomes possible if only your mind believes it.

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Wherever it is you may be, it is your friends who make your world.

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There is no failure except in no longer trying.

― Chris Bradford, The Way of the Sword

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