Aikido Symbolism

The practice of Aikido is said to be a life long pursuit that doesn’t end in the dojo. It goes on continuously through one’s life, fighting to achieve balance, peace and an enlightenment of the mind and spirit.

As practioners and students of Aikido, we often encounter symbols in written teachings and documents.  The must fundamental symbols we find are the triangle, circle and square.  The importance is not found in their individual shapes or meanings.  It is all three together as one!

The triangle is an ancient sign of power.  It demonstrates the natural order as it represents two opposites that create a balance.  Must often to Aikidoka the triangle represents “technique” (waza).


A circle is likely the most profound symbol known to mankind. An infinity without beginning or end.  It represents the human spirit, and an energy that is fundamental to Aikido.

While the circle can be said to embody spirituality, the square represents the earth and all things physical.  A foundation of equal parts provides perfect balance.

All three make up different phases of one’s Aikido development.  We train and learn from our mistakes, until we can execute flawless movement (triangle).  We hone our spirit, evolving from an untrained practitioner to mastering the art.  Although we may have many years of training, we must never forget to work on the foundation on which we stand.  Building a stronger footing for support or else risk it all to crumble.

It is the unification of a circle and square that brings together “heaven and earth”, of the spiritual and material.  These symbols together form the various elements needed in the quest for spiritual transformation, illumination and immortality.

Three simple symbols that defy the ages and convey fundamental truth.

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