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Symbols in Aikido

O'Sensei followed the Japanese religion of Shinto, but he also used the Buddhist symbols of the Triangle, the Circle and the Square to represent the spiritual concept of Aikido.


The triangle represents the principle of irimi (entering); form and movement, the power of birth; the spirit of fire, sharpness.


The circle represents the principle of tenkan (turning); the spontaneous creation of new form (technique); the spirit of water, harmony.




The triangle (entering) and the circle (turning) together create spiral movement, the principle of irimi-tenkan.


The square represents completion; the source of wisdom and compassion; the spirit of earth, the interaction of fire and water.

When the three principles work together as one, moving in spherical rotation with the flow of ki, Ai-ki-do appears.

Hephzi Yohannan, 3rd Dan
Trafford Aikido Club





Aikido Throw

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