In the beginning of Aikido you are standing between Heaven and Earth

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

On first glance of the website it might seem unusual to a visitor to read this sentence. However, within this single phrase lies the key to understanding Aikido.

The phrase originally spoken by O'Sensei was "In the beginning of Aikido you are standing on a Bridge between Heaven and Earth" -  but to make it easier to understand, Sugano Sensei modified the phrase to "In the beginning of Aikido you are standing between Heaven and Earth."

The Japanese concept of the Bridge between Heaven and Earth (Ame-no-ukihashi) relates back to the original Japanese creation story. Further information can be found in the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters), the oldest extant chronicle of Japanese writing. According to the Kojiki, this bridge connected Heaven and Earth. O'Sensei was an extremely spiritual person, and he was dedicated to pursuing his beliefs through his own martial arts practice as well as prayer and meditation. For O'Sensei, Aikido was a method of communicating with his gods, and a means of self-purification, or Misogi. O'Sensei often described standing in the middle of the bridge that connected Heaven and Earth awaiting his mission from the gods.

Sugano Sensei explained that O'Sensei said this sentence many times at the beginning of the class. He explained it was extremely important to the fundamental understanding of what Aikido means.

For Sugano Sensei, he described his own pursuit of Aikido as more internally focused, as he did not follow the same religions as O'Sensei. Nevertheless, he explained that it was of utmost importance to respect O'Sensei's beliefs. When Sugano Sensei described the idea of "Standing between Heaven and Earth" he would often follow with "On the ground, you are standing there," and "Above your head, whatever you call it." There is something so relevant in this basic teaching which is applicable across all aspects of training which needs to be understood. 


By Luke Derham, 3rd Dan


Latest News

Winter School

Winter School will include Zoom classes by the three Foundation members Tony Smibert, Hanan Janiv and Robert Botterill shihans. .. Read more

Childrens Classes Now 3 Times a Week

Children's Classes Now 3 Times a Week See the blog post for details ( Read more

Kids Classes!

We are now running children's classes for kids aged 8-13 on Fridays at 5:30pm! As.. Read more



Latest Blog Posts

  1. Winter School 2021 Aikido WA 20-Jun-2021
  2. New Childrens Classes Aikido WA 24-Sep-2017
  3. Upcoming Events 2017 Aikido WA 15-May-2017


Galleries and Videos

Aiki Kai Australia YouTube Channel

Aikido WA Facebook Page