Ai = harmony. The demeanor of the Aiki practitioner is calm and relaxed even in time of duress.
Ki = Inner strength. One's physical, mental, and emotional energy must be in harmony, as well as one's relationship to the "energy of life".
Ju = yielding. A person must be able to cope and adjust to any situation, whether in the practice area or in matters of life.
Do = the Way. An Aiki student learns to apply lessons learned in training to situations of daily life. Matters in life get a new perspective while on the mat. Life benefits from training, and training benefits from life.
At first glance, Aiki Ju Do appears to focus on controlling, causing pain, and throwing another person to the ground. It is obvious that the practice consists of defending one's self from an imaginary attacker, but the true essence of Aiki Ju Do lies beneath the surface.
From the beginning, when a student learns to fall and get back to his/her feet, the experience is likened to facing obstacles in daily life. The goal is to always get up one more time than you fall down.
The fundamentals of the techniques are rooted in a person being aware and in control of themselves. This awareness allows the practitioner to be able to recognize imbalance in another and respond by applying exactly the right technique at exactly the right time.
Although these graceful techniques are enjoyable to watch as they are performed, there is no mistaking their effectiveness. However, only in a state of calmness, confidence, and balance of one's physical, mental, and emotional energies can one realize the true expression and benefits of this unique art.