10 Philosophical Benefits Of Aikido Meditation For Life

woman doing aikido on beach
Aikido is a peaceful martial art that inspires self discipline, love and compassion.

There are some seriously impressive benefits of Aikido meditation and its philosophy.

Aikido meditation is basically “meditative movement”. It is a peaceful martial art form that is all about inner peace. Packed full of philosophy, Aikido will teach you many things about yourself and about life in general.

To start with, here is a weird fact:

One of the best ways to find inner peace is to practice martial arts.

Martial arts like Aikido teach us to have power and to use that power in respectful, noble ways.

Most martial arts involve mental discipline and training the mind, and Aikido is one of the best, especially for self-discipline.

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What is Aikido meditation and its philosophy?

Aikido meditation is a modern Japanese martial art that merges physical exercise with philosophy.

Perhaps that’s why so many of the benefits of Aikido are philosophical and psychological (see below).

Aikido is an enlightened system for enlightened people. It is about so much more than “fighting”.

Are you a peace lover?

If so, you will love Aikido, It was specifically developed as a form of self-defence that prevents us from harming an opponent. It is a compassionate self defense.

Aikido was developed by martial arts master Morihei Ueshiba.

Ueshiba created the Aikido philosophy as a merger between religions and martial arts.

The very name itself is often translated to mean “the way of unifying with life energy.”

It’s a philosophy very similar to Taoism (I’ve written a comprehensive guide to Taoist meditation which you might like to read).

It’s about  “the way”, the same “way” that is described in Taoism. It’s about using qi, the fundamental energy of life, the “life force”, to gain inner and outer strength.

In The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba  says, “All things, material and spiritual, originate from one source and are related as if they were one family.

The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source, and we are evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.”

Aikido is the way of harmonising the spirit using qi.

Ai Ki Do means “Harmony” “Spirit” “Way”

meaning of aikido ai ki do

Aiikido is the way of harmonising the spirit using qi. The Aikido philosophy is about self-control, humility, and flexibility. 

Like meditation, it is about purifying the self and training the mind. The conflict, the opponent, of this martial art, is not an “enemy”, it is the weaker parts of our spirit.

Aikido meditation is all about the philosophy of oneness.

Aikido meditation is about finding oneness.

Society blinds us to the truth of our inner energy.

Aikido can awaken that energy. It can train us to live in harmony with our true nature. And at the same time, it can teach us how to live as one with the world.

Like meditation, Aikido gives us a clear perspective of our reality, and this gives us complete control of our being.

But why do we lack “control” in the first place?

One of the main reasons why many people lack control is because there is disharmony between their body, mind and spirit.

Aikido heightens the mind-body connection so that body, mind and spirit become one. This makes us a single energy, a single force, a complete circle. We become a perfect system, the co-creator of our own destiny, our creativity and consciousness working as an integral part of the universe.

This inner harmony is the source of great strength.

What Happens When You Are One

Many of the biggest problems we encounter in life is that we are not one.

When the mind, body and spirit move in different directions we become stagnant, because we are pulling in opposite directions.

Imagine, for instance, that you wish to move house. Your body is where it is, because we are physically locked into here and now, so your body is in the home you are currently in. Your mind loves the idea of the big city. Your spirit feels it belongs in the country. Where do you move? Likely nowhere, because you are caught between three forces all pulling in opposite directions.

The only way to cure this problem is to harmonise mind, body and spirit so that all three are in alignment. Then, the energy that comprises our being is focused towards one end. That is when we achieve our greatest strength.

This inner harmony is one of the core principles of the Aikido philosophy, and one of Aikido’s greatest life lessons.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the best life lessons from Aikido.


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The 10 Best Benefits Of Aikido Philosophy

 Similar to the benefits of Tai Chi, many of the benefits of Aikido are philosophical and psychological. Let’s take a look.

1. Teaches you to respect and honour your partner

Aikido is practised with two people.

There is “tori” (the person performing a technique) and “uke” (the person on the other end).

Self-development in Aikido is dependent on both tori and uke working together as one.

In Aikido, there must be honour and respect, and we must work together. And so it is in life.

If two people in a relationship are pulling in opposite directions, the relationship will go nowhere. Both people must work together, with love, honour and respect, towards one common goal: the growth of the relationship.

When both people are working in harmony, a relationship achieves great strength, it is full of positive energy moving in one direction.

2. Teaches you to accept others and seek peaceful solutions

Aikido is a peaceful martial art.

When practising Aikido it is considered a bad technique to be too forceful.

The right path is the path of least resistance. It is not about forcefully attacking the opponent. It is about dealing with others in a graceful, finesse way.

Aikido teaches a special technique called Tenkan [1]. This is a move that diffuses the energy of an opponent’s attack. This move teaches that being too forceful can be our own downfall.

The life lesson Aikido’s philosophy teaches here is to find peaceful solutions. Not to force, but to accept. 

3. The Aikido philosophy makes peace possible

In Aikido we are looking for peaceful resolutions to conflict.

There are specific moves that pre-empt an attack before the attack does damage.

The lesson here is to be mindful of potential harm and to find a peaceful resolution to conflict before it happens.

Can you imagine if all the governments of the world learned this life lesson Aikido is teaching us? There would be no more wars.

4. Love and compassion are the enlightened way 

Aikido is not like other martial arts. It is not about winning a fight. It is about finding peaceful, loving, compassionate solutions to conflicts.

When another person is acting hostile towards us, we must use our strength to find peaceful, compassionate solutions that are helpful for both people. This is the enlightened way to deal with arguments and fights. 

5. Aikido meditation teaches us to overcome negative energy

In a fight, we can think of the opponent’s anger as a negative energy.

As in life, it is always best to distance ourselves from negative people. In Aikido it is best to evade attacks.

If there is negative energy in the environment, we must distance ourselves from it. Step out of the situation. Gain a clear perspective. Then act in a peaceful, compassionate way to resolve the situation. 

6. When communicating, listen mindfully, and speak with the right intention  

Aikido is generally learned in pairs. And when training with a partner, it is always a two-way street. We must listen to (or observe) our partner’s movements in a mindful way. Then, we must respond to those movements in an enlightened fashion.

Good Aikido is good communication. It is about being mindful of the other person and then responding in an enlightened way.

7.  Aikido meditation teaches us to live in the moment. 

When practising Aikido and other martial arts, footwork is paramount.

With good footwork, we move into beneficial positions that lead us to success. This is another one of the best life lessons Aikido teaches.

We must live in the now, in the present moment, while being mindful of how our position in the present moment affects our future selves.


8, Our successes are largely thanks to our friends and family

In Aikido, the people you train with are the ones who help you to grow strong and to become successful. We need a good sensei and good training partners if we are to grow strong. And it is the same in life.

In life, we need strong friends and family.

Friends and family teach us life lessons and are there for us when we need them. They are a big reason for our successes. And we must be grateful for them.

9. To the enlightened individual, there are no enemies

One of the most important life lessons from the Aikido philosophy is that there is no enemy.

The enemy exists only in our minds. The enlightened perspective is to see that we are one with all life in the universe and that we must work together to create peace, love, and mutual compassion.

There is a meditation technique called Loving Kindness Meditation that teaches us to feel love and compassion for everyone, even for our enemies.

Aikido teaches a similar lesson.

In Aikido, when we face an enemy we never intend to do harm. It is about understanding the opponent so we can end the fight in a compassionate way that does no harm.

And those are my favourite of things about the Aikido philosophy 

Aikido is perhaps the best hobby for self-discipline.

Aikido is about love and compassion. It is about self-mastery. It is having strength and using that strength for peace, love, and compassion.

Who wants to start doing Aikido? 

By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. "My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation" - Paul Harrison

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