Vancouver West Aikikai
Instructional Policy and Code of Conduct:
A Guide for Instructors and Students

Prepared by Ishu Ishiyama, Chief Instructor

English version: 2009-11; revised 2011-3-08
for the original Japanese text: version 2009-11
Click here for PDF text

  1. Aikido, founded by Master Morihei Ueshiba, is a way of harmonizing with the unlimited Ki (energy) of the Universe; it is a way of transcending conflict and creating a world of peace and love for all living things.
  2. Aikido helps us cultivate a strong mind-and-body and develop our breathing to be attuned to the power of the Universe. Through the practice of the art of Aikido, we polish our character and purify our ki, and also help each other develop personally and spiritually to a higher level. Eventually, we will be at a level where we can guide others and improve society as a whole with the heart of Aiki.
  3. Aikido is a way of shugyo (training and self-discipline in the pursuit of enlightenment), and the teachings embedded in Aikido are profound and sacred. The dojo is a place for such shugyo. The instructors, teaching assistants, and the students of Aikido must keep this in mind and engage in earnest training toward self-improvement.
  4. During practice, students must follow the instructions closely, train seriously and safely, and make every effort to minimize the possibilities of injuries and accidents. Training must be carried out pleasantly and harmoniously in a non-competitive spirit.
  5. Students must adhere to the given instructions, and refrain from a self-serving manner of practice, including inappropriate applications of ara-waza (vigorous or dangerous techniques), kaeshi-waza (counter techniques), henka-waza (modified or unexpected techniques), or renraku-waza (combined techniques), unless they are instructed to do so. Students must avoid engaging in unproductive resistance or competition with each other. When practising Aikido techniques, the tori and the uke must follow the instructions, endeavour to learn accurate forms, and practise the proper flow of ki, as well as help each other in this learning process.
  6. Students must refrain from engaging in private conversations and unnecessary chats, being inattentive to instructions, or making excuses for their inattention or inappropriate manner of practice. Instructors and students must engage sincerely in learning and training in the spirit of harmony, and stay aligned with the key principle of Aikido.
  7. Instructors and assistants must be kind and patient with students and demonstrate a sense of responsibility, gratitude, and respect in dealing with each student. Instructors, as models of Aikido practitioners, must treat students as precious beings entrusted to their care and guidance. Instructors must accommodate each student’s physical strength, technical level, age, personality, and personal conditions. They must make every effort to prevent injuries, and discourage students from using unnecessary force in practice or displaying competitive or aggressive attitudes. The manner of instruction must convey humility, care, and gentleness to students. Instructors must be clearly mindful of their role and responsibility as teachers in charge. They must not behave condescendingly or competitively toward students. Students should not be subjected to disrespectful treatment by anybody for any reason which might result in diminishing their self-respect or creating feelings of anger or hurt. The same code of conduct applies to instructional assistants and senior members who work with junior members.
  8. Instructors must be humble and sincere in dealing with dojo members, and display sensitivity and attentive care. They must recognize and correct their own shortcomings and poor habits, and work toward achieving the state of unified mind-technique-body (i.e., shin-gi-tai) in the spirit of Aikido. They must engage in the process of shugyo and self-discipline together with the students in class, and also work together to build a mature community for learning and training.
  9. Instructors must be mindful of their role and responsibility as teachers and leaders in relation to the other dojo members and the whole Aikido community. To that end, instructors and sempais at the dojo must be committed to improving themselves and becoming good role models.
  10. All Aikido practitioners may be regarded as Founder Ueshiba’s students. We must engage in shugyo, and always express gratitude and respect to the Founder and his successors, our teachers, and sempais (= senior students). We need to protect and nurture all living things that are kept alive and fulfilled by the aiki (= the loving ki) of the all-embracing great universe as well as the life force contained within everything. With thankful and humble attitudes, must we live each day and treasure the relationships with other people, nature, the Universe, and all that we experience. If we do that, we can embody the spirit of Aikido.

The author wishes to thank Liz McKinlay, Bruce Riddick, Dave Bursey, and Gudrun Dreher for their valuable editorial suggestions for the current English version.


道場長・指導責任者 石山一舟

  1. 開祖植芝盛平翁の創始された合気道は、無限なる天地宇宙の気と和合し、対立を超え、平和で万有愛護の世界を築かんとする道である。
  2. 合気道を通して心身を鍛え、呼吸を正し、気と技の練磨を通して己を磨き、お互いの精神的向上を求め、さらに合気の心でもって社会を良くし、人を導くものである。
  3. 合気道は修行の道であり、その道の教えは深く神聖なものである。そして道場はその修業の場であり、合気道の指導者と門人はそのことを肝に銘じて稽古にいそしみ自己の練磨に励むことが肝要である。
  4. 合気道の稽古において、門人は指導者の言うことによく従い、真剣に、すなおに、安全で事故のないようにすべし。そして、稽古はのびやかに、「争わざるの理」の心でもって和気あいあいと行うべし。
  5. 稽古では指導されたこと以外の自分勝手な稽古をしてはいけない。指示なく不適切な荒技、返し技、変化技、連絡技、および不必要な頑張り合いや力比べをしてはいけない。合気道における形の稽古では、取りも受けも指導に従って正確な技の形と気の流れを習得するように努め、互いに助け合うべし。
  6. 稽古中は私語、無駄話、泣き言、よそ見、言い訳をひかえ、指導者と一丸となって修行に励むべし。
  7. 指導に当たるものは、門人を大切な預かりものとして、責任と感謝と慈しみの念を持って親切丁寧に指導すべし。門人の個々の性格、体力、技術、年齢、境遇を尊び考慮して、けっしてけがをさせたり、粗末で軽んじた扱いをしたり、強制したり、偉そうな振る舞いをしてはならない。指導者が門人と対立したり、門人の自尊心を傷つけたり、怒らせたり、あるいは門人の間でそのような行為がないよう、指導者としての役割と責任を自覚すべし。道場の後輩に対する先輩や指導アシスタントの態度・行為についても同じである。
  8. 指導者は慢心することなく誠実に細やかに人と接すべし。また指導者は心技体において己の至らぬ面や片寄りや癖を直すよう努力し、門人と共に修行にいそしみ、よりよい道場にして行くために協力し合っていくことが必要である。
  9. 指導者や先輩は門人・後輩を導き、人の上に立つ者としての自覚を持ち、人の鏡となるように精神的な向上に日々精進するべし。
  10. 合気道を修行するものはすべて開祖の弟子であると思い、開祖をはじめ歴代の道主、自分の師、先輩諸氏への感謝と尊敬の念を持って修行に励むこと。森羅万象をつかさどる宇宙の愛気を受けて生かされているすべての生命体とその中に宿る生命力を大切にし、感謝と報恩の気持ちでもって日々の生活をおくり、人、自然、宇宙などすべてのものとのかかわりを大切にするべし。そこに合気道の精神が具現されるのである。