The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba (ASU) is a membership organization whose stated mission is as follows:

The mission of Aikido Schools of Ueshiba is to preserve and disseminate the teachings and principles of Aikido, as transmitted by Morihei Ueshiba O Sensei to his direct disciple Mitsugi Saotome Shihan.

The ASU is committed to supporting the creation and maintenance of a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all of its members. We value diversity and welcome students of all races, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, identities, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities to become part of our community. 

This ASU Code of Ethics is a guide to all members, both students and instructors, on the ethical and moral practices that should be adhered to in the practice and training of Aikido in the ASU. This Code of Ethics supplements the Rules of the Dojo and Proper Dojo Etiquette as expressed in the ASU Handbook.

Because ASU does not have any corporate or legal responsibilities over, or liability for, the operation of any dojo or the specific conduct of any member, this Code of Ethics should be considered guiding principles and best practices for ASU members.

Code of Ethics

  1. Respect
    1. Respect for Aikido: Instructors and students should understand O Sensei’s and Saotome Shihan’s vision of Aikido as a martial art of peace and conflict resolution. Instruction, training and practice that is contrary to this vision should be discouraged.
    2. Respect for Instructors: Reaching instructor status in ASU takes a significant amount of training, testing and time. All students should respect the instructors in their dojo and visiting instructors for their time, talent and training.
    3. Respect for Students: Students have chosen to practice Aikido voluntarily. Instructors need to respect this decision and make every effort to nurture the development of students who are training in Aikido.   Teaching should be done with a positive attitude.
    4. Mutual Respect: All members, whether they are instructors or students, should train in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
    5. Respect for the dojo:   Whether you practice in a formal dojo, in another martial art space or non-­‐martial art facility, respect your space. The dojo should be welcoming to instructors, students and visitors, and should provide a safe environment in which to train in Aikido.
  1. Responsibility
    1. Responsibility of Instructors: Instructors have a significant and important role in Aikido.
      1. Instructors must try to faithfully pass down the teachings of O Sensei as they have been passed down to Saotome Shihan and his senior instructors.   Instructors should make an effort to attend seminars given by Saotome Shihan and senior instructors in ASU.
      2. Instructors must lead by example. Good technique and good etiquette will foster the same in students.
      3. Instructors shall ensure a safe training place for students.
      4. Instructors should be cognizant of their role as an authority figure and avoid situations that take advantage of their rank and status to interact inappropriately with their dojo members.
    2. Responsibility of Students: Every student in Aikido has a responsibility to the dojo, to their instructors and to other students. Students should know the ASU Rules of the Dojo and Proper Dojo Etiquette as set forth in the ASU Handbook. As described under instructor responsibilities above, senior students should never take advantage of their rank and status to interact inappropriately with other dojo members.
  2. Instruction
    1. Giving Instruction:   Instruction should only be given by instructor level yudansha when possible and may be given by lower level yudansha when necessary. Instruction in Aikido techniques should be clear through visual observation by students and physical interaction with other students and the instructor.
    2. Receiving Instruction: Students should closely observe the instruction being given and try to the best of their ability to following the techniques being shown by the instructor. Sempai (senior students) should preferably lead Kohai (junior students) through techniques rather than talking them through techniques.
  1. Training
    1. ASU Rules of the Dojo: All instructors and students should be familiar with the ASU Handbook in general, and the ASU Rules of the Dojo and Proper Dojo Etiquette.
    2. If a dojo has a children’s program, then there should be two adults present at all children’s classes. The adults may be instructors, other adult students or parents/guardians of the children. Instructors and other adult dojo members should also refrain from spending time outside of class with individual youth or children that are students from the dojo. There should be more than one adult present at all times.
    3. No discrimination: O Sensei’s vision was to spread Aikido around the world. Accordingly, ASU prohibits any discrimination, by instructors or students, based upon race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, identity,  national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or age.
    4. Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment by any member will not be tolerated whether that member is an instructor or a student. Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that tends to create a hostile or offensive training or work environment.
    5. Students with Disabilities:     When possible, ASU encourages instructors and dojos to accept students with disabilities if the student can safely train. It is the sole discretion of the head instructor of a dojo whether a student with a disability can safely train in Aikido.ASU is committed to a goal of serving all community members including individuals with disabilities. Dojos are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations to include individuals with disabilities as long as it is possible to do so while maintaining the safety of all participants and the continuity of training. To support these students, instructors are encouraged to adapt practice as necessary.
    6. Compliance with state and federal law: All members of ASU must comply with state and federal law that may be related to the practice of Aikido as a martial art and the operation of a dojo.

Process for dealing with violations of the Code of Conduct.

  1. Individual dojo Procedures: Dojos are encouraged to have a process to address situations where there may be a violation of the code of conduct.
  2. ASU procedures: An ASU member may report a violation of the Code of Ethics the the ASU Board, if such a violation has not been resolved by the dojo.

Membership in ASU: Membership in ASU is a privilege. The ASU Board may, in their sole discretion, terminate or suspend the membership of any instructor or student that violates this Code of Ethics or brings disrepute upon the ASU.

Adopted by the ASU Board of Directors on 1/27/2017 updated on 8/14/2021.