Ki Principles

In his teachings and in his many books, Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei has not only given descriptions and explanations of Aikido techniques, but provided a wealth of wisdom on how to apply Ki and Aikido principles to our daily life.

The following is a listing of (hopefully) all the Ki Principles and Rules formulated by Tohei Sensei to provide guidance in various situations of our life, in and out of the dojo:


1. Keep One Point
2. Relax Completely
3. Keep weight Underside
4. Extend Ki


1. Ki is Extending (Extend Ki)
2. Know your opponent’s mind
3. Respect your opponent’s Ki
4. Put yourself in the opponent’s place
5. Perform (Lead) with confidence


1. Have a Universal Mind
2. Love all Creation
3. Be Grateful
4. Do Good in secret
5. Have Merciful Eyes and a Gentle Body
6. Be Forgiving and Bighearted
7. Think Deep and Judge Well
8. Be Calm and Determined
9. Be Positive and Vigorous
10. Persevere

1. Five Principles of Keeping One Point

a. Center on the point in the lower abdomen where you cannot put tension.
b. Let your body weight fall on your One Point, not on your legs or feet.
c. Your breathing is calm and subtle.
d. You can accept whatever happens without losing your composure.
e. Therefore you can do your best at any time.

2. Five Principles of Relaxing Completely

a. Each part of your body settles in its most natural position.
b. You relax positively, without collapsing or losing power.
c. Your sense of presence makes you look bigger than you actually are.
d. You are strong enough to be relaxed.
e. Therefore you have an attitude of non-dissension.

3. Five Principles of Keeping Weight Underside

a. You maintain your most comfortable posture.
b. Your body feels light and does not sag.
c. Your Ki is fully extended.
d. You are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances.
e. Therefore you perceive everything clearly.

4. Five Principles of Extending Ki

a. You are not overly conscious of your body.
b. You make full use of centrifugal force in your movements.
c. You have soft eyes and a poised body.
d. You show composure in your posture.
e. Therefore you are bright and easygoing.

5. Five Principles of Ki Meditation

a. You maintain a posture of mastery.
b. You have a sense of freedom.
c. You create an atmosphere of harmony.
d. You are vividly aware of the spirit of life in all things.
e. Therefore you can feel the movement of Ki in the Universe.

6. Five Principles for Ki Exercise

a. Movements center on and begin from the One Point in the lower abdomen.
b. Ki is fully extended in each movement.
c. Move freely and easily.
d. Do not feel any tension in the muscles.
e. Show and feel a clear sense of rhythm in your movements.

7. Five Principles of Ki Breathing

a. Exhale gradually, with purpose and control.
b. Exhale with a distinct, but barely audible sound.
c. At the end of the breath, Ki continues infinitely like a fading note.
d. Inhale from the tip of the nose until the body is saturated with breath.
e. After inhaling, calm the mind infinitely at the One Point.

8. Five Principles for Kiatsu Ryoho

a. Extend Ki from the One Point in the lower abdomen.
b. Do not let tension accumulate in your body.
c. Press perpendicularly toward the center of the muscle without forcing.
d. Focus Ki continuously and precisely at the finger tips.
e. Concentrate on the lines, rather than the points.

9. Five Principles of Ki Test

a. Do not test the physical strength of the body, but test the immovable mind.
b. Test according to the ability of the student.
c. Do not put down the student, but make him/her understand.
d. Learn by testing others.
e. Do not teach only how to pass the test, but teach the meaning of the test.

10. Five Principles of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido

a. Ki is extending.
b. Know your opponent’s mind.
c. Respect your opponent’s Ki.
d. Put yourself in your opponent’s place.
e. Lead with confidence.

11. Five Principles of Kenpo with Ki

a. Hold the sword lightly.
b. The tip of the sword must be calm and steady.
c. Make use of the weight of the sword.
d. Do not slacken your Ki.
e. Cut first with the mind.

12. Five Principles of Jo with Ki

a. Hold the staff lightly.
b. Control the staff with the rear hand.
c. Manipulate the staff freely.
d. When changing the position of the staff, one hand must always have hold.
e. The line traced by the staff is never broken.

13. Five Principles for Instructing Ki

a. Grow together.
b. Be modest.
c. Teach right, not might.
d. Be fair and impartial.
e. Be plus.

14. Five Principles for Learning Ki

a. Have a mind like a mirror.
b. Persevere.
c. Practice in Daily Life.
d. Change the subconscious mind.
e. Teach what you have learned.

15. Five Principles of Setsudo (Teaching the Way of the Universe)

a. Believe in the way of the Universe.
b. Share the way of the Universe with everyone.
c. You must practice what you teach.
d. Teach according to the person.
e. Grow together.

16. Five Principles for Education of Children

a. Be resourceful in letting them play and enjoy what they learn.
b. Never allow them to injure themselves or make serious mistakes.
c. Always relate each exercise to their growth, and use positive words.
d. Make it perfectly clear what behavior is good and what is bad.
e. When they misbehave, scold them firmly but with a positive attitude.

17. Five Principles for Sleeping With Ki

a. Always unify mind and body before you go to sleep.
b. Believe that the mind controls the body.
c. Calm and collect your thoughts before you go to bed.
d. Maintain a cool head and warm feet.
e. Use your mind to direct the blood to your feet.

18. Five Principles for Office Work

a. Take initiative to find work without waiting to be told.
b. Make a habit of taking notes to organize and improve your work.
c. Do not postpone something that you can do now.
d. Before going to sleep, plan the next day’s work.
e. Make a habit of reviewing your notes first thing in the morning.

19. Five Principles of Sales

a. Know the value of what you are trying to sell.
b. Approach your customer or client with positive Ki.
c. Focus on customer benefits, not whether or not they buy.
d. Always provide responsible after-sale service.
e. Even when you do not make a sale, always leave a positive impression.

20. Five Principles for Management

a. First become a positive person yourself.
b. Do not work for selfish gain, but see how your work benefits others.
c. Be calm enough to be aware of larger trends in society and the world.
d. Always make efforts to help your employees grow and develop.
e. Return your profits and benefits to society in some way.