In the excellent book “Training with the Master”, I read an excellent quote from the founder which follows:
“In order to practice Aikido properly, you must not forget that all things originate from One Source; envelop yourself with love, and embrace sincerity. A technique that is based only on physical force is weak; a technique based on spiritual power is strong.
The practice of Aikido is an act of faith, a belief in the power of nonviolence. It is not a type of rigid discipline or empty ascetisism. It is a path that follows the principles of nature, principles that must apply to daily living.
In good Aikido training, we generate light (wisdom) and heat (compassion). Those two elements activate heaven and earth. Train hard and you will experience the light and warmth of Aikido. Train more, and learn the principles of nature. Aikido should be practiced from the time you rise to greet the morning sun to the time you retire at night.
Aikido is good for the health. It helps you manifest your inner and outer beauty. The practice of Aikido fosters good manners and proper deportment. Aikido teaches you how to respect others, and how not to behave in a rude manner. It is not easy to live up to the ideals of Aikido but we must do so at all costs – otherwise our training is in vain.”
We have to realize that this is a translation, and because of the limitations of words, we can play with some of this a little bit. It is open to some interpretation as long as we keep the big picture and our good intentions in mind as we do so. It does us no good to try to change the art, but we also have to make it our own. O’Sensei’s writings are a big part of the mystery which is so great about the art.