Seishiro Endo, 8th dan Aikikai
"There is no such thing as a freedom just like that. It is an aim to become free. Freedom is often referred to as being free of something. But that kind of freedom, to be free, for example, of a duty or a person, is not real freedom.
"So what is? That is an important question. It certainly is nothing you get just like that. There is no easy-going freedom. I think in order to become free you must restrict yourself at first to a very unfree form. By practicing within that form you will learn to be free, step by step. You practice within a restriction.
"But in the course of the repetitions, within that restriction, it may happen that the restriction rids you off itself. And then the whole practice suddenly becomes egoless, light—and free. Practicing a form thoroughly will, at some point, rid you of the form. To reach that state in a practice means to have acquired freedom."