The Three Principles

Professor Kenji Tomiki, the founder of Tomiki Aikido, was one of the most famous and highly respected martial artists in Japan and around the world.  He learned both aikido and judo from the founders of those martial arts.  He became a renowned Professor at the world-famous Waseda University in Tokyo, which is where he pioneered his development of his eponymous martial art.  Being a Professor, he naturally developed a coherent and powerful method of analysis and research for aikido that has become a signature pedagogy in the world of martial arts.  Understanding these Three Principles and Six Concepts will help you organize your thinking and improve your aikido.

Principle 1: Natural Posture

Shizentai no Ri

Shizentai is the physical embodiment of “mushin, mugamae” – neutral mind, neutral stance. Regardless whether one is in neutral posture (mugamae), right posture (migigamae) or left posture (hidarigamae), feet are shoulder width apart, weight is evenly balanced between the two feet, shoulders are relaxed, back is straight with hips rolled underneath, head sits straight on the spine, and arms hang naturally bent.

Principle 2: Non-Resistance

Ju no Ri

An attack can be rendered ineffectual or minimally effective by quick, controlled footwork and body movement, yielding to force when it is advantageous. The physical manifestation of this principle is most easily seen in taisabaki, i.e. moving out of the way of an attack.

Principle 3: Breaking Balance

Kuzushi no Ri

The principle of breaking your opponent’s balance or seizing the split second when your opponent is immobile, either at the beginning or the end of his movement. By applying kuzushi effectively, the actual application of the aikido technique then becomes far easier, almost effortless.

 The Six Concepts >