©™ 2003 - 2007: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
All Rights Reserved
Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
< Click here for the Articles Page
Jan 31, 2007

"Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take anything personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best."

Don Miguel Ruiz

It was with some curiosity that I picked up the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. I was struck by how similar it was to the message delivered in our annual Aikido Warrior Camps. It also brought to mind how Truth does not change, no matter who or where we are. Reflect on the four statements and how it may be useful to you. Here are my thoughts, as related to Aikido:

In Aikido, with its emphasis on discipline, proper behaviour, etiquette, respect and integrity, being impeccable in word does stem first. It is a question of character and attitude. A student committed to Aikido practice will not shirk or find excuses not to practice well.

Not taking something personally, we are detached from the outcome. In Aikido, we practice to "Receive-Respond-Resolve." Being detached allows us to receive challenges objectively and to respond calmly, freeing the senses to resolve the issue smoothly.

Reactions are often based on assumptions about what is happening. For example: if told something about a friend or a colleague, instead of reacting, thank the person for the information. Then, if necessary, find out personally if what was said is true; otherwise, end it there. In taking Ukemi during Aikido practice, do not assume where a throw or lock is going to occur. Go with the flow to its resolution. Release all assumptions and Uke will not get hurt in the process.

Lastly, doing one's best comes naturally from a person of integrity. Falling short or leaving something incomplete does not figure in the mind of a person who is committed to a task. Each best effort propels the person upward from the last effort. As the saying goes: "Climb to the top of one peak and you see the next, waiting to take you higher."

Don Miguel Ruiz mentions in his book that these four agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can transform lives if followed. Similar tenets are also in the Martial Arts; to perfect technique, and to improve ourselves. When advice is offered in many forms, from different cultures, and from different practices, it must be based on Truth. The answers and the affirmations that we need are all around us, hiding in plain view. Have you noticed?

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright January 2007: Rafael Oei)

Click here for the Ueshiba Aikido Website

< Click here for the Articles Page

©™ 2003 - 2007: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : All Rights Reserved