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Gudrun Bratu from Munich, DE, 3. Dan Tendoryu Aikido, 2001

Posted 26/2/2019

Beauty is the splendor of truth


In Aikido, there is no competition, compared to other martial arts, the essential point is that in Tendoryu Aikido the spirit of Budo is still alive.

This spirit is expressed in the circular, aesthetic movements that accompany Shimizu Sensei's request to move in a natural way, beyond cheap showmanship and deliberately spectacular techniques. Tendoryu Aikido is based on an inherent naturalness that we gradually give rise to with our Aikido practice- just like a sculptor who uses his chisel to carve out the artwork layer by layer, which is already in the raw material, in order to make its inner radiant power visible. Beauty comes from inside, both in art and aikido and reminds us that beauty always has something to do with realization and awarenes.

„Beauty is the splendor of truth “, is an old western wisdom that touches me as it involves a universal power that I know from Aikido. Activating our Ki, strengthening it and letting it flow is the central intension of our practice. Does „the splendor of the truth“ stand for this ominous, indescribable Ki? Sensei speaks of a jewel honed and polished with the support of our practice partners. In the beginning, it is inconspicuous and raw, through the constant practice and polish it finally reveals its beauty and its true splendor.


Wakasensei Kenta Shimizu recently described the path (Do) as a hike up to a mountain. We climb this path in darkness and follow our idea to find a bright star on top. We do not even know the way and do not know if we will ever reach the star. For him, this star stands for his father. He also invited us to ask ourselves who this star could be for each one of us, personally.


Initially our first trainers are often seen as such stars, especially when they give us the inspiration to experience more and more Aikido. Over time, some grow into a star themselves and become a whetstone, helping others to make their inner radiance shine. But there are also those who tend to shine in the background. They are often active in youth work or organization. By doing this they prove themselves valuable for a harmonious cooperation in the dojo. Many of them are women.

On my way, Steffi played an important role. She was my first whetstone. Often, she was strict, but I also felt her confidence in me. With her in mind, we all know what makes a strong Aikido woman.

Jos, a teacher and friend who left much too early, encouraged me to take the next step on the path as a trainer and taught me to develop self-confidence, so that I can also grow with this task.


If there is a gain of knowledge in Aikido, it is based on our own experience, because this martial art can not be learned from books. If we desire a deeper view into it, the only way to get it is to be instructed by a good master.

We are very fortunate that Shimizu Sensei, a true master in Budo, has brought us closer to his wonderful Tendoryu Aikido for so many years. Looking into the future, it is a great gift that with Kenta Shimizu, a bright star will continue to shine and the Tendoryu Aikido will remain alive for all of us.



Gudrun Bratu from Munich, 3. Dan Tendoryu Aikido, 2001