Martial Arts

O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quotes In-Depth Breakdown

Today we’re going to be looking at all of O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba’s Quotes and philosophies. Lets see what was going through the mind of the great founder of one of the most popular martial arts Aikido. Though unlike the million other blogs that just copy and paste Morihei Ueshiba’s Quotes. I’m going to be breaking down and explain each quote the way it resonates with me.

O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba might not have ment his quotes to be interpreted the way I’m going to interpret them but that’s what creates conversations. I wanna see how you resonate with Morihei Ueshiba’s quotes. Maybe we agree, or not someone will definitely learn from this article.

O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quotes In-Depth Breakdown

Morihei Ueshiba Quotes

First time doing a popular martial artist’s quotes article. Bare with me as I figure out how to properly structure these articles.

We’ve got over 30 Morihei Ueshiba quotes to get over with, so go make yourself a cup of tea and let’s get into it.

O-sensei Quote – To Never Give Up

Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.

Our first quote by Morihei Ueshiba is quite famous, it’s still being preached by many motivational speakers around the world.

I notice that a lot of people that fail at something seem to depress and give up, never to try again. Instead of taking what they learned and implementing it to there next project. If you take your failures as lessons, we’re they really failures?

I don’t think so, your only a failure the second you give up on all your hopes and dreams.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Why We Train

The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.

Morihei Ueshiba answers the great philosophical question that we sometimes ask ourselves. Why do we keep training, why do we keep going, wouldn’t it be easier and more fun to just give up.

Tighten up the slack – This is referring to the domino effect, the second you stop training a cumulative effect is produced. Your standards start to lower, than you give up on another thing that’s good for. Soon enough giving up will be easier to do, than what you end up bored with nothing in your life worth meaning.

On the other hand if you were to keep going at it. You’d keep getting better, more motivated, stronger, determined, confident thus doing more things and ending up as a far better person than you were.

Toughen the body – This is referring to your overall health. Physical training contains many health benefits to us, such as us:

  • Being stronger
  • Less fatigued
  • Improved immunity system
  • Physically more attractive

Polish the spirit – I like to think of this as your mental state. Training is proven to reduce stress and increase happiness. It’s a sense of accomplishment, your not going to get that by simply couching on the sofa procrastinating.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Staying Positive

Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts. Always keep your body filled with light and heat. Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.

The ability to stay positive at bad times, sure everyone’s happy when there’s order. It’s when chaos reveals itself that one must have the proper skillset to cope with that chaos.

What Morihei Ueshiba is essentially saying is that, you shouldn’t dwell in your thoughts when everything seems to be going south. Focus on what you achieved and how your going to keep progressing and improving. Things will get better as long as you keep this mindset.

O-sensei Quote – Earning Respect and Love

Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacrifice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love.

It’s the cycle to earn respect and love. It’s achieved by motivating and helping others to improve. Thus creating strong allies to improve yourself.

I hear a lot of people claiming that in order to climb up your social hierarchy you need to lower others. That’s such a twisted stupid way to think, if your going to ruin someone in order to improve that persons going to go out of there way to ruin you. It creates a cycle of negativity that slows both of you down in the long run.

Don’t be dumb and listen to this great Morihei Ueshiba quote. Help others and good things will come your way.

O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Be Humble

Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants and trees – should be your teacher.

What O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba is saying here is, that you shouldn’t be letting your ego consume you. Words like ‘What do you know? I’ve been studying Aikido for over 10 years’ should never be used. That’s not an argument that’s ego, your downrating someone because you think that they are inferior to you.

O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Notice Your Surroundings

A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.

Notice everything, you can tell a lot about a person both in a martial arts setting and in everyday life. Society will not acknowledge you if you look weak, society and humans in general seek stronger beings than themselves.

Quite the contrary if you look weak people will even treat you unfairly further disconnecting you from your goals.

O-sensei Quote – Believe In Yourself

Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.

This is one of the cutests quotes by great teacher Morihei Ueshiba. Essentially Morihei Ueshiba is telling us to believe in ourselves. We have a lot of potential no seed grows without water and no potential grows without hard work.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – There’s Always Room For Improvement

Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment.

Quite a philosophical quote by Morihei Ueshiba here. To find your purpose, it’s not something easy I’ll tell you that. Some people struggle all there life trying to find life’s meaning to no avail. I believe that everyone has a purpose in this life, you just have to find your path. It doesn’t have to be something insanely difficult to achieve, it can simply be something like:

  • Rising a great child, thus further aiding our society to improve.
  • Helping out in local protests that you believe can improve that countries moral compass.
  • Learning and teaching others.

Whatever makes you happy and feel fulfilled is your path don’t over complicate it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t aim big. If you want to:

  • Become the most famous martial artist who ever lived
  • Create the biggest martial arts franchise
  • Become the new heavyweight champion in UFC

Go for it and make sure it happens. I believe that’s what O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba was telling us with this quote.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Growth

Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.

Striving for success, no matter how sick, old, beaten we are, one should not give up there will to learn. I don’t fully agree with O-sensei here, sure technically he’s right I mean if we stop growing it’s cos our biological body has died.

Though on the spiritual side, sure we should always try to keep on growing. That doesn’t mean we’re useless if we stop learning, there are a lot of good deeds we can do that doesn’t require us to learn and grow.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Balance

The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.

No disrespect to Morihei Ueshiba here, though I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. Is it balance maybe? sure we should always stay in balance and harmony. We shouldn’t over-do things than end up stressed and most probably underperform whatever we’re trying to do.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – One Step at a Time

Create each day anew

I really like these tiny cute positive quotes, what I believe Morihei Ueshiba means by this is that. We should not worry to much about what happened yesterday nor tomorrow but focus on today. Try to do something beneficial for yourself today, tiny steps forward compound to a long distance in the future.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Success or Failure

When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.

I don’t really agree with this Morihei Ueshiba Quote, at least not in our current time. Sure there was a time when failure resulted in death. Though in our era, failure should be taken as something we learn from thus inhibiting growth within ourselves.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Paranoia

As soon as you concern yourself with the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weaken and defeat you.

Sorry O-sensei, I really disagree with you on this one. I’ve been personally taken advantage of by so many of my fellows for thinking that there good decent human beings. Sure you shouldn’t let it consume you, though you should always be a little doubtful of your fellows. Following blindly with whatever they say is just as bad as letting doubt consume you.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Competing With Yourself

There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within.

100% agree with my main man O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba. We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves with anyone except ourselves. Did you improve your situation compared to your past self, than you should feel satisfaction as you are superior version to your past self.

Not to mention that it’s simply unfair to compare yourself with others. You don’t know what they had. Maybe he’s been training Aikido since the age of 5. Of course he’s better than you if you just started know, being the same age doesn’t correlate to should be at the same skill level.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Be Strong Yet Merciful

When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.

Morihei Ueshiba, we started getting along just fine now. I always tell my students that you should always strive for power regardless the matter. However you should only use that power if necessary.

Learn psychological manipulation for example, not to manipulate people though. Learn it so that you can tell when someone is trying to manipulate you and cut the cords.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Accepting Yourself

Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.

Kaiso Morihei Ueshiba pretty much told us the secret to happiness in my opinion. Never rely on things or others to be happy. You need to learn how to be happy alone. I’m not saying throw away your belongings and friends, no way these things are essential to your growth. Though you need to consistently better yourself so that you are content by yourself.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Determination

Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere.

I wouldn’t say get you nowhere, though he’s right secret techniques will not trigger prograss. If your relying on secret techniques instead of improving yourself, your going to be left behind.

This can be applied to anything in life really. If instead of working hard to improve your financial situation your relying on an inheritance (secret technique). The second the money comes, you’d have no idea on how to invest it properly and end up losing it all due to inexperience with money.

Determination and hard work is the only way to truly prograss.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote –  Finding The Path

Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit – love.

I’m not sure I understand Morihei Ueshiba here, this quotes a little bit to confusing for me. What I think he’s saying is that, there are many different paths one can take to lead you towards your goal. Which I guess is true, I dunno I just don’t get this one. If anyone reading this gets it, enlighten me please.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Accepting Life The Way It Is

Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer.

Yeah I agree with Ōsensei Morihei Ueshiba on this one. Loathing and being negative isn’t going to make things any better. Instead focus your energy on something that can potentially get rid of whatever is causing you to loath. If it’s something you can’t get rid of, slowly try to accept it while working on improving yourself.

Fear something that untreated can spiral out of control and fully manifest you. Only you can overcome your fear by stopping the cycle. Slowly start to expose yourself to it and gradually increase the intensity, until you finally overcome it.

In short Morihei Ueshiba is telling us to. Face whatever life throws at us and conquer it with an iron fist. It’s not as easy as it sounds however that’s the mindset all of us should try to have and implement in such situations.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer

If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by heaven and earth.

The founder Morihei Ueshiba blowing my mind with each new quote I read by him. I’m assuming
Morihei Ueshiba is telling us to be-friend our enemy. Quite a smart idea actually, if we can turn our foes into allies we can stop wasting time putting each other down and focus on helping each other improve. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Converting Your Foes Into Allies

To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.

This O-sensei quote is definitely referring to the act of converting your foes into allies. When you really think about it, you realise how dumb it is to spend time thinking about revenge. Your essentially wasting your time focusing on something that will gain you nothing but a loss for someone else.

It’s not always possible to turn your foes into allies, though I don’t think that’s what Morihei Ueshiba is telling us in this quote. I think Morihei Ueshiba simply wants us to either cut out completely the people that drag us down and be-friending those that might be worthy of our time. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Spreading Love

Economy is the basis of society. When the economy is stable, society develops. The ideal economy combines the spiritual and the material, and the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love.

I’m going to be honest with you here, this quote took me a good 15 minutes for it to start making sense but it really does. 

When we are honest and loving to the people around us we gain respect and trust. Having people that trust and respect you, increases your stability as you’ve got more options in case something does go wrong. This gives you more time to focus on developing yourself without the fear of failing, as now there’s a safety net to fall in.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Overcome Your Challenges

Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there. Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.

Sometimes we might seem to think that the entire world hates us, everything’s going wrong like someones plotting against us. Though that’s not usually the case. It could have been our poor decisions that we’re blaming on others. 

Morihei Ueshiba is telling us that we should not be getting so worked up over them. Instead we tackle them instantly, in order to get them off our minds. This removes the issue, thus leaving us to continue our life in harmony. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – The Meaning Of Life

Mankind’s role is to fulfil his heaven-sent purpose through a sincere heart that is in harmony with all creation and loves all things.

I don’t really agree with O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba here. Sure we definitely should always be sincere and love everything. Though to claim it as mankind’s role I don’t really agree. I think that we as individuals should come up with our own purpose in life.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Emotional Resilience

Your spirit is the true shield.

I believe that Morihei Ueshiba quote is basically a cooler way to describe emotional resilience. Training your mind to be able to handle more stress, being able to bounce back after something tragic. 

We can train this, in multiple ways such as:

  • Meditation
  • Practicing mindfulness
  • Facing your fears

What Morihei Ueshiba is essentially saying in this quote is that, physical strength alone is not enough. This quote has really aged like a fine wine to be honest. In this modern era we’re living in having emotional resilience is far more beneficial than the ability to fight.

These kinds of teachings are what I miss in MMA. Sadly most modern martial arts seem to see these teachings as a waste of time when in reality to be a true martial artist you need to have a strong body backed up by a strong mind.

To be fair, I was one of those people before starting this blog. The more I’m spending time researching other martial arts the more I’m starting to understand them. Anyways we’re getting side tracked let’s continue discussing the mystical quotes by O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Inspirational

All life is a manifestation of the spirit, the manifestation of love.

Not really getting what Morihei Ueshiba is trying to tell us here. We’re full of love maybe, or we are love?

Love, quite the emotion, it can bring someone eternal happiness or eternal despair. Not sure if we’re talking about the same love, though weirdly I think Morihei Ueshiba might be onto something.

Technically most of us just want to be loved, we’re driven to improve in order to receive someones affection. Yeah I think that’s it, me trying to explain love made me somehow understand what Morihei Ueshiba is telling us in this quote.

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Life

All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together.

I’m understanding the first sentence of this quote, though for the rest of it I have no idea what Morihei Ueshiba was on. 

‘Life itself is truth, and this will never change’

Life is true, yeah I agree I guess. I know there are some people that claim we’re living in a simulation or something, though to be honest even if we are in a simulation it’s the truth to me. You know what I mean?

‘Everything in heaven and earth breathes’

Never been to heaven yet, though I can confirm that every living thing breaths on earth, been here a while I’d know.

‘Breath is the thread that ties creation together’

He’s right here too, if we were to stop breathing we’d pretty much die you know.

‘All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you’

We’ve finally got to the first part, the part that’s not ‘thank you captain obvious material.’ I really like to believe this, we are in control. You can’t just sit around and wait for someone or something to show you your path. You yourself are the one in control of everything, unless you start working hard to achieve your desires no one is going to help you get them. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Murphy’s Law

In extreme situations, the entire universe becomes our foe; at such critical times, unity of mind and technique is essential – do not let your heart waver!

O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba is mostly describing Murphy’s Law in this quote. Murphy’s law states “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

It’s at these times, that our emotional resilience comes in play. We need to be mentally prepared to face anything that comes our way.

Recently I’ve been implying a new mindset, that really resonates with this quote.

Can I fix it? 

  • Yes – Than fix it already.
  • No – Than there’s no point in worrying about it is there.

I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I’m getting better at it. I think if you can master this mindset, nothing can taint your spirit. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Accepting Everyone

The art of Peace I practice has room for each of the world’s eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.

If only everyone thought like O-sensei Morihei Ueshiba, we’d end racism in a heartbeat. What Morihei Ueshiba is telling us with this quote is that we shouldn’t judge other people. Everyone has different opinions and we should accept and learn from their opinions. 

Morihei Ueshiba Quote – Suppressing Ego

One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

Beautiful quote that I believe more of us need to be aware of. Climbing up the social hierarchy ladder is doubtlessly a good thing. Nevertheless it doesn’t bring happiness unless you practice the art of peace while doing so. If we’re rising in our social hierarchy with the expense of losing our moral compass, we’re not going to be at peace. Deep inside there will be void, that money can not fill.

Concluding O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quotes In-Depth Breakdown

I think that covered the most popular Morihei Ueshiba Quotes. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot about Morihei Ueshiba writing this article. I should start doing more of these popular martial artists quotes in the future. So what do you guys think about these quotes. Any others you’d like me to try to explain in my own words?

Feel free to argue with any of the meanings I gave, all of these were my interpretations of his quotes. So I could be totally wrong and you might interpret them differently than me.

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O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quotes In-Depth Breakdown
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O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Quotes In-Depth Breakdown
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Lets discuss Morihei Ueshiba Quotes. Was he a genius of his time, or just a drunken old guy out of his mind. Maybe both? Let's Analyze.
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Martial Arts Nerd
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