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Aïkido Knowledge base

Natural observation of manners 

You can move your body sideways and jump into your partner's side as agilely as a cat.
Natural observation of manners 

I once asked the Founder why it is necessary to touch the mat with the left hand first, followed by the right hand, in a sitting bow. The Founder replied: “There is no such need. Natural behaviour is the best requisite”. He also told me not to imitate only the forms of other schools of martial arts. 

Natural behaviour represents a state of utmost alertness and will allow you to stay clear of a sudden attack. Everybody should be able to understand that manners based on natural behaviour are more in line with the spirit of Aikido than those integrated with the habit of unsheathing a sword instantly. 

Walking in front of a person is considered ill-mannered. This is because the walker is in danger of being tripped. You are also warned not to walk on the edge of the mat. The reason is that there may be a trap installed in the mat. As illustrated above, every bit of manners observed by martial experts reflects a warning against dangers of life. These manners see to it that life is not lost under trivial circumstances. One should try to overcome a man of manners based on natural behaviour. 

Photo shows an example of a sitting bow which makes an escape from an enemy attack easy. This bowing pattern is little different from the normal way of bowing. Care should be taken, however, to ensure that both hands should not be spread too far, a posture which makes it difficult to manoeuvre your body and initiate entering techniques immediately. The mutual stance shown in the photo is one assumed in sitting exercises. 

This show an instance of proceeding to an entering technique from a sitting bow and getting the better of your partner while unbalancing his attack.
A light nod suffices for a standing bow. After training, withdraw your breath quietly and sheath your wooden sword.