Aikido Precepts
by Ueshiba Morihei

1. The original purpose of budo was to send a man to death with a single blow. For this reason you must obey your teacher implicitly in practice and never engage in competition.

2. The original budo is a study by which the individual connects to the whole. Therefore, you must practice with complete awareness of all that surrounds you. You should maintain this awareness along with a healthy degree of tension at all times.

3. You should always practice in the spirit of joy.

4. Your teacher can only give you an outline, a hint here and there to guide you. Only through constant practice will you master the practical use of this mystery. Learn to understand with your body. Do not engage in a futile effort to learn a great number of techniques but rather study the techniques one by one and make each one your own.

5. One should begin daily practice with proper warm-up exercises. This will strengthen the body and prevent undue stress on it. The first ten minutes of practice should be less rigorous than practice that follows. There is no reason for injury, even to older people. Remember that your practice should be joyful. You must gain an understanding of the real purpose of your training.

6. The original budo is training in the spirit of harmony. Its purpose is to produce real human beings who will improve the world. The techniques are secret teachings and show the secret principle of budo. They should not be disclosed to the public indiscriminately, especially not to those who might misuse this understanding.

From the manual "Budo" (1938)