Aikido is usually practiced as a hand-to-hand martial art form. In aikido, any attempt to control your partner through physical force makes you vulnerable. To be successful, your body and mind must be alert and free from tension. Here is why these portraits of devoted aikido practitioners are an attempt to find the equilibrium between the static posture free of tension and the energy coming out from each hand. This same energy takes a central part of the spiritual philosophy of aikido. According to Yamada, one of the most notable aikido instructors, “To lead another person we should first be able to lead ourselves. This kind of mind-body control can only happen when both individuals are relaxed and calm”. An important point here is that the 'pauses' are not 'empty'. The training is one of movement balanced with stillness, where the moments of 'stillness' are as important (if not more) than the ‘movements’ themselves. Whether we move or are still, our energy or 'ki' should remain dynamic and expansive while our awareness should remain uninterrupted and open.