Does Aikido work on the street? It’s common to think of “winning” in martial arts as defeating or submitting an opponent. But if we set aside our ego for a bit we can see that “winning” can take on a much bigger meaning. Here is one of the best examples I’ve seen of how aikido works “in the real world.” A perfect irimi (entering): Entering into the space of the enemy. Followed by a beautiful tenkan (turning): Turning their heart with compassion.

Forget about the martial arts “tough guy” image. Train well. Train effectively. Develop your skill to the highest level. But true Aikido is to win over people’s hearts. Daryl Davis: “If you spend just five minutes with your arch enemy you will find you have something in common.”

Many, like Martin Luther King Jr., have died for this dream. Better to die for a noble cause than to live a lie. The dream, in the words of John Lennon, of “a brotherhood of man.” Aikido is not just for defending yourself. It’s for defending the dream.