The Isshinkai Manifesto

Real Aikido teaches us to protect ourselves and others by trained instinct. In other words, to move quickly and effectively, becoming neither victim nor helpless bystander.

Never were solid foundations in technique more important, or consequences more serious.

Poor foundations result in overconfidence and bad technique, both of which literally put you in harm’s way.

It pays to go to a real Dojo with well Trained Teachers:- who themselves have solid foundations, and who know what they’re doing.

Learning Aikido involves much, much more than learning a few moves.

Aikido is a Martial Art of great subtlety and depth, which is one of its best features, however the lack of transparency this can cause also provides cover for at least its fair share of counterfeits and overstated résumés.

It can be difficult to tell the difference.

In Isshinkai we simply endeavour to embody the quality of what we do, mindful of the following guidance:


People who put a high value on their art, also care about the place they set aside to practice it in. Professionalism is about commitment, standards, preparation and attention to detail, not money. An established Aikido Dojo is an institution, held in trust for Aikido, cared-for by generation after generation of students, and passed on within a lineage. It should feel clean, peaceful and suitable for joyful, focused and uninterrupted practice. Look carefully and you will know, before you even get through the door, what kind of place it is. That will tell you something of the value to be found there.


Good Aikido Teachers are profoundly respectful and grateful to those kind enough to have taught them. A diligent student, well taught, has much to feel grateful for. Ingratitude indicates either a bad student, or a poor teacher, or that the Teaching/Learning relationship didn’t actually happen as claimed. So do not expect to learn good Aikido from a Teacher who does not speak of his or her own Teachers with respect and gratitude.


Good Aikido Teachers are recognisable by their Balance and Energy. They don’t sit around, tired, disconnected from their driving force and energy, being victims of circumstance. They live productive, energetic lives of integrity. You should feel energised around a good Aikido Teacher. If you want to develop your Balance and Energy, make sure the Aikido Teacher you follow knows how to maintain these things in his or her life, and does so.


Good Aikido Teachers won’t pretend to be your mate when they aren’t. They say what they mean, and mean what they say. They can be gentle, often positive, respectful, sometimes surprisingly direct, and sometimes a little scary. An Aikido Teacher, who’s going to be fit for purpose, is someone who’ll be unafraid to be honest with you, or to take you beyond your comfort zone.

In an Aikido Teacher, do not confuse "friendliness", or familiarity, for trustworthiness, because real Aikido is not about flattery, or saying what you think people want to hear, to get what you want from them.

That’s fake Aikido.

Real Aikido is about being able to live positively, sincerely and honestly, without fear, compromise, penalty or aggression.