Principles of Aikido
Maximum efficiency (motion/effort/technique/training)
Mutual welfare (safety/enjoyment/benefit/enlightenment)
Follow your partner's motion (evade/invade/redirect force, always look/feel/react, don't initiate arbitrary actions, turn when pushed - enter when pulled, combine with motion not add to it)
Relax completely (light touch, smooth movement, inquisitive spirit, slow is fast - fast is slow, speed is strength - strength is speed, enjoy practice, welcome & learn from defeat)
Extend to maximum (continue motion to circle or rebound, allow attack to play out and negate itself, turn attack to your advantage, lead partner to inevitable reactions)
Use rhythm of opposites (up-down/rise-fall, in-out/tension-compression, hineri-gaeshi/torque/pronation-supination, inhale/exhale, blink reflex, combine multiple rhythms)
Keep posture (back straight, head over hips over centerpoint of feet, weight on the balls of the feet, knees slightly bent, live legs, feet shoulder width, turn with hips, take normal length steps, following foot returns to posture, no bounce/wobble)
Keep centered (move the center, hands in center, center on partner, no fear/desire)
Keep safe distance (two arms length, safe position or control, interval/timing/opening, step to points of the triangle)
Keep eye contact (soft focus through nasion to distance, watch without projecting, take in all around)
Keep same hand - same foot (move foot with engaged hand, same side - same time)
Keep unbendable arm (wrist back, slight curve, elbow down, push from underside, don't change when pushing, curl max, straighten max, walk body toward hands)
FUNCTION AND METHOD OF KATA
The purpose of kata is to support randori. The Basic 17 are ideal presentations of technique, used to reinforce perfect form. This is why uke works together with tori to create the correct conditions for the technique. Resisting a kata technique is NOT valid practice because in randori one only does the technique that is appropriate to uke's attack. Learning the correct reactions and taking the falls are vital to uke and tori's training.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FROM MASTER UESHIBA
"Even the most powerful human being
has a limited sphere of strength.
Draw him outside of that sphere
and into your own
and his strength will dissipate."