Martial Arts Philosophy Applied Morihei Ueshiba

According to Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido, these are the values a martial artist must carry when it comes to their training. I wasn’t able to find the origin of these tenets, but I’ll write about them anyway and how they can be used when approaching any kind of training be it martial arts or strength training.

”1. The original intent of Bujutsu (martial arts) was to kill an enemy with one blow – since all techniques can be lethal, observe the teachers directions and do not engage in contests of strength.”

The first tenet being very martial it may be hard to see its use elsewhere than martial arts, but in truth there lies a deep philosophy of always following proper instruction/technique. In laymans terms for a gym bro it’s pretty much saying that don’t max out even if the purpose of what you are doing is to do just that.

”2. Bujutsu is an art in which the one is used to strike the many. Therefore train yourself always to be mindful of, and alert to, opponents in the four and eight directions.”

Awareness of yourself and your surroundings. When it comes to strength training I wouldn’t say to be mindful of external threats, but to learn to recognize things that would hinder our progress. To be alert to possibilities of injury that could jeopardize the things we are trying to achieve for instance.

”3. Always train in a vibrant and joyful manner.”

Don’t half ass things. Always give 100% of what you got on hand.

”4. The instructor can only impart a small portion of the teaching. Only through ceaseless training can you obtain the necessary experience allowing you to bring these mysteries alive. Hence, do not chase after many techniques – one by one make each technique your own.”

We learn from our coaches, but to truly learn something and to drive a lesson home we have to do the mileage. We have to walk the walk. In strength training and strength sports I would see chasing after many techniques to be chasing after all the minute details and fancy work in our programming. In the end the work counts, not the small variables between effective programs.

”5. In daily training, begin with basic movements to strengthen the body without overexertion. Spend the first ten minutes warming up and there will be no fear of injury even for older people. Enjoy yourself in training and strive to comprehend its’ true purpose.”

It’s good to keep in mind the true purpose of training. We are training to grow our limits, to become stronger. Don’t skip out on necessary steps to attain this such as not doing proper warm-ups and cooldowns. They aid recovery and health, they shouldn’t take priority over your real strength work, but they shouldn’t be ignored either.

And again, don’t max out. Work within your limits to push yourself beyond them.

”6. Training in Bujutsu is to build ones’ character. The techniques are transmitted from person to person on an individual basis and should not be disclosed indiscriminately to the public. Such secret techniques should not be used for evil purposes.”

Dedicating yourself to perfecting any skill builds character. Good thing in strength sports we don’t have any secret dim mak techniques, so we are free to spread the message of strength as much as we please. Comment below how your max squat could be used for evil purposes.


Miki Korhonen
Personal trainer / Amateur Strongman

Training for strength has always been close to my heart alongside being able to share that strength and knowledge with others through coaching. At the moment I’m training to win the WHEA Strongman Finnish National Championship in the under 85kg weight class, as well as keep growing as an athlete and a coach.

I’m a personal trainer located in Kouvola, Finland; who focuses on strength and conditioning. My mission is to provide coaching backed by current research for people from all walks of life. I’m also working on growing strongman locally.

I’m always ready to answer all questions to the best of my knowledge if you’re wondering about strength training and nutrition. You can get in contact with me through Facebook and Instagram (links below).

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