Why do we bow so much in Aikido? Why are we careful to line up the sandals neatly at the edge of the training mat? Why do we keep our uniforms tops tucked in securely? Why do we practice a small number of techniques repeatedly with strict attention to a precise form? It is all part of learning teinei.
丁寧, 叮嚀, ていねい
The term basically means “polite”, but it goes much further. It includes being courteous, careful, kind, thorough and conscientious. We practice these outward forms in order to cultivate the inner spirit. The hope is that eventually, the inner spirit will manifest itself outwardly in one’s everyday attitude and spontaneous behavior.