Aikido

Iron Sharpens Iron

Aikido Blogs - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 03:55
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

This particular passage of the bible has always resonated with me, especially in my training of Aikido; and this is what makes Aikido so special.

When we attack each other, we attack so that our partner can become better. It's a selfless thing to do.

I'm not attacking you to prove I'm better. I'm not attacking you to "win" the fight. I'm not attacking you to show off.

And please make a special note to this one:

I'm not attacking you to make you look good, either.

I'm giving you a sincere attack, and really trying to hit you, so that you can learn and become better. If I've hit you, you've failed, and guess what, you get to try again. I'll do the exact same attack and give you another chance to learn the technique. If you don't get it after four tries, then it's my turn. And I really what to improve. I want my Aikido to really work, so please attack me, don't be afraid, I won't hurt you, I want to learn how to use your energy to defend myself and at the same time protect you from injury.

I remember once, an Aikido instructor, instructed me to "Take Ukemi" or I would get hurt. After 20 years of Aikido, I've realized, that although he said he was teaching Aikido, it was really a form of Jujutsu, where if you don't submit, you will get injured.

Did you know that O'Sensei said somewhere along the lines that you need to treat your attacker like a baby, and not hurt him....

Aikido will never cease to amaze me, it is a beautiful, wonderful art, that only gets deeper and deeper as I learn.
Categories: Aikido

Union

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 01:26
Union

Some people mistake
Enlightenment, satori, unification
As union with God

Not so
The union, when it happens
Is with yourself




www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

Silent Pathways

Aikido Blogs - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 00:36
Silent Pathways

I walk dark lonely roads
But, I am not lonely
There is a bright full moon
Casting myriad moon shadows
Following me as I wander
Down mysterious, silent pathways



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

I asked him to take it back but he didn't.

Aikido Blogs - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:07
Ki in daily life is the writing prompt Ron gave me a few days ago. I asked him to take it back but he didn't.

I am feeling blah around it but I am practicing new behaviors so here we go.

I have noticed lately that I am feeling low. I am not excited to get out of bed. I am having a lot of negative thoughts like:
"I have worked my whole life and this is where I have ended up." I need to make more money or have more recognition." Now the more money would be nice but I don't need someone telling every second that I am doing a good job.

As I have said before I am turning sixty in a few days. I think the pall that I feel is because something in the back of my mind says 60 is the big one: the one where we really are all done. No more fun…just grown up hard stuff.

That being said…and I am going to keep telling about it until it passes because I know that it is a lie and if I keep telling it will diminish like all untruths. Only the truth lasts and I want to live in the truth.

That being said…I feel great. Last night Ron and I went for a bike ride after work. We had a nice healthy dinner and then cleaned up the kitchen.

We played mitts and sticks and then an exciting game of "Ticket to Ride" where we had some healthy fun feuding. He gets to wear the imaginary engineer hat and scarf because he won yet again.

Work felt long yesterday and I felt lonely for a bit and sad because I think I don't get to see my family enough.

I noticed all this because I pay attention to my feelings and notice when they arise and how long they last and if they are true or a deliberate manufacturing of self-pity.

Ron and I have a lovely life together. Yet I can wander away from it to torture myself with "what ifs"…"what if we lose the house?, what if I die first?…what if I die last? What if I get dementia? What if I am a street lady?"

I can let myself get filled with self-centered fear like a helium balloon that breaks the string and flies off to balloon heaven (or hell).

I practice ki in daily life by coming back to what is real. And what is real in each moment is that I am ok. I am so ok.
Then I can see if I am ok in this moment maybe I will be ok in all the moments. One moment at a time.

I come back to now by doing something physical…it may be going for a walk, hopping on my bike for a spin, doing some ki exercises, juggling for a few moments, vacuuming the floor, sweeping the cobwebs off the lights and my mind. Sometimes I go out to the dojo and do rolls just to remind myself that I can.

I might write down what is bothering me, or I might write a gratitude list and share it with my gratitude group. I might write an email to my sponsor or tell Ron what is going on. I might write my blog. Sometimes I just get on my knees and pray for help. I have many tools to bring me back to the moment where all is well.

I think the challenge of getting older is to stay in the now as much as possible and to appreciate all the gifts that abound around me.

I do not have to give up and sit in my chair like my mother did. I want to grab the rest of this life and live it. I love to be alive and I am happy for the chance to see what my sixties look like on me.
Categories: Aikido

I asked him to take it back but he didn’t.

Aikido Blogs - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 11:07
Ki in daily life is the writing prompt Ron gave me a few days ago. I asked him to take it back but he didn’t.

I am feeling blah around it but I am practicing new behaviors so here we go.

I have noticed lately that I am feeling low. I am not excited to get out of bed. I am having a lot of negative thoughts like:
“I have worked my whole life and this is where I have ended up.” I need to make more money or have more recognition.” Now the more money would be nice but I don’t need someone telling every second that I am doing a good job.

As I have said before I am turning sixty in a few days. I think the pall that I feel is because something in the back of my mind says 60 is the big one: the one where we really are all done. No more fun…just grown up hard stuff.

That being said…and I am going to keep telling about it until it passes because I know that it is a lie and if I keep telling it will diminish like all untruths. Only the truth lasts and I want to live in the truth.

That being said…I feel great. Last night Ron and I went for a bike ride after work. We had a nice healthy dinner and then cleaned up the kitchen.

We played mitts and sticks and then an exciting game of “Ticket to Ride” where we had some healthy fun feuding. He gets to wear the imaginary engineer hat and scarf because he won yet again.

Work felt long yesterday and I felt lonely for a bit and sad because I think I don’t get to see my family enough.

I noticed all this because I pay attention to my feelings and notice when they arise and how long they last and if they are true or a deliberate manufacturing of self-pity.

Ron and I have a lovely life together. Yet I can wander away from it to torture myself with “what ifs”…”what if we lose the house?, what if I die first?…what if I die last? What if I get dementia? What if I am a street lady?”

I can let myself get filled with self-centered fear like a helium balloon that breaks the string and flies off to balloon heaven (or hell).

I practice ki in daily life by coming back to what is real. And what is real in each moment is that I am ok. I am so ok.
Then I can see if I am ok in this moment maybe I will be ok in all the moments. One moment at a time.

I come back to now buy doing something physical…it may be going for a walk, hopping on my bike for a spin, doing some ki exercises, juggling for a few moments, vacuuming the floor, sweeping the cobwebs off the lights and my mind. Sometimes I go out to the dojo and do rolls just to remind myself that I can.

I might write down what is bothering me, or I might write a gratitude list and share it with my gratitude group. I might write an email to my sponsor or tell Ron what is going on. I might write my blog. Sometimes I just get on my knees and pray for help. I have many tools to bring me back to the moment where all is well.

I think the challenge of getting older is to stay in the now as much as possible and to appreciate all the gifts that abound around me.

I do not have to give up and sit in my chair like my mother did. I want to grab the rest of this life and live it. I love to be alive and I am happy for the chance to see what my sixties look like on me.
Categories: Aikido

Sustainable Practice

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 08/06/2017 - 03:17
Your aikido will only improve when your concept of aikido improves.
~ Kenjiro Yoshigasaki


Sustainable Practice

As I get older
And my Aikido practice ages
(Matures?)
Along with me
I am reminded of the quote above
And how difficult it is
To improve or even sustain
My Aikido practice unless
My concept of Aikido changes
As I do physically
The need to adapt, change, grow
To transform self and art
Is a constant need and struggle
But can only happen
If and when your concepts change
And you are open to this very possibility
This, I constantly remind myself
As I step on the mat
Breathing, moving, breathing, moving
Doing my best to sustain an art
That has also sustained me
For long, hard, joyous decades
I find my mind, my mind finds me
As I move to where my ego smugly sits
And destroy it!



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

ki development writing prompt

Aikido Blogs - Thu, 08/03/2017 - 20:14
Ki development is important because without it, Aikido is just a bunch of techniques that will only work with cooperative ukes.

Ki (also known as mind, body co-ordination) includes the connection with the now that allows us to react to what is happening with the appropriate response for that particular attack.

Co-ordination of mind and body allows us to be at our best, utilizing all the information at hand and responding with clarity to keep ourselves as safe as possible while causing the least possible harm.

The response to an attack is hidden in the circumstances and will be revealed with careful attention to the "Now".

The “Now” is discovered by have your mind and body integrated. Mind, body co-ordination is noticed and nurtured through ki development.

At Berkshire Hills Aikido, ki development is incorporated into all aspects of training. We do special exercises and testing to help us develop basic centering and more advanced correct feeling. And every movement on the mat and in life provides limitless opportunities to maintain correct feeling.

When it is lost, as it often will be, we just notice and then get it back as soon as we can without recrimination of ourselves and without blaming the stimulus that caused us to lose it.

This practice of having the return of mind and body co-ordination be our goal lets us release the victim stories and return to the process of training. All experiences can be perceived as gifts that allow us to see our reactions and our responses. Ki development on the mat provides us with an alphabet so we can rewrite our lives in a calmer, less reactionary way. We can look at the real causes of discomfort in ourselves which are most often historical.

Ki development contributes to peacefulness on the planet by starting with the only thing we can really change: ourselves
Categories: Aikido

At Peace

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/30/2017 - 07:28
At Peace

Though I have suffered
The moon is rising
And I am at peace



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

Honesty, followed by Honestly!

Aikido Blogs - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 18:08
Being honest is one of the hardest things to do, it seems. It's so simple, just tell the truth, but how many times do we find ourselves not telling the truth? Do we even know what the truth is? This can get pretty deep....

Your friend doesn't look very good with her new hair cut, but instead of telling her the truth, you tell her it looks good...and you justify it with, it's all a matter of perspective.

Your boss asks you if you called that client, you haven't, but you tell him you have, you excuse yourself and call him right away. You justify it with, I'm about to do it....

Your daughter asks you to buy her a pair of jeans, and you tell her you don't have any money (but you do, you just don't want to spend your last $100.00 on her pair of jeans....)

In a wonderful book that I like to read every once in a while is says: "He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity." Proverbs 2:7

I've been thinking about that pretty hard, and really paying attention to when I am honest and catching myself when I am not.

On the mat, it's much easier to catch myself, because honesty is much easier to see. Am I honestly putting effort, strength, power into my attack? Am I aiming at my target? Am I just throwing myself, afraid that I may get injured? What's driving me?

I think honesty must come from the attacker, uke, in order for the nage to truly progress and learn Aikido. Doesn't that sound like common sense to you?

To truly understand and develop in Aikido we need to be honest with each other. I've heard it so many times, "the truth hurts," but does it really?

I'm really excited about teaching today and sharing this with my class.
Categories: Aikido

mind body co-ordination

Aikido Blogs - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 15:05
I asked Ron for a writing prompt and he gave me co-ordination of mind of body.
Mind body co-ordination is always a good subject. What can I write today about it? That it is more important than ever as I approach 60? God, sometimes it terrifies me to write that. I know, I know. It is better than the alternative.

But what can I say except that I feel 30 inside and so full of life and energy. I get hit with this melancholy that makes me ache for the younger me. But why? I feel young …I just don't look young. Why do I want that angst-filled woman back now I am filled with serenity, acceptance, peace and contentment a lot of the time? I am what I feel like not what I look like.

The mirror has been surprising me. A new hair cut… a new hair color, several pounds lost…it is still me. I look and then let go again. The mind body co-ordination comes in when I accept….yes, I am going on 60 and this is what it feels like today. I have no physical complaints. I am fit and limber and moving well. I am as strong if not stronger than ever.

I see what O'Sensei meant about how we must defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within. It really is about false fears. There is nothing to be afraid of today. I look how I look and I feel how I feel. There is freedom in the acceptance of the truth. Thank you for the reminder, Ron, Sensei…you are always the sensible one when it comes to me.
Categories: Aikido

Honestly!

Aikido Blogs - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 18:45
OK, so I was trying to work out why a technique didn't work very well with me when someone was attacking. And, I just couldn't figure it out, so naturally, I blamed my attacker. He's not attacking me correctly, so it's not working.

Can you believe that! I actually started blaming my attacker, on why I couldn't get the technique.

Well, isn't that just a natural why to react to situations. I mean, think about it, don't we do that all the time. How hard would it be if we were always blaming ourselves. Don't you think it'd be a bit depressing?

It's not my fault I'm poor. It's not my fault I can't find a job. It's not my fault I'm getting a divorce. It's not my fault I split the coffee all over me and burned myself.....and on and on it goes. Isn't that why we get married, so that we can blame our partner for everything!

I've seen how instructors manipulate their students into making them look like they've actually "got" the technique. It's so disappointing, and at times, physically painful.

If iron sharpens iron, then it's all of us together that need to work on this. We accept where we are, and are held accountable for it.

So, I was demonstrating a technique the other day, and my uke, in front of the whole class, made sure that everyone knew that I got the technique wrong.....what in the world did I do.......I thanked him and said out loud, "well, that surely didn't work, I need to try it a different way."

Please check out this video I made for my dojo, and comment! I love comments.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1Lazwi2scY
Categories: Aikido

Mystery

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/23/2017 - 03:47
Mystery

There is a mystery to life
An uncertainty, with many unknowns
We try to plan, to predict
And, sometimes we get lucky
But, for the most part we don't
So we come up with ideas
Ideas like fate, destiny, karma,
Or, God's will, god's plan
Some kind of explanation
Beyond the fact that life
Life is just this way - mysterious
But, some would hijack this mystery
This honest mystery and create
A belief in supernatural entities
The gods did this, God did that
Then wrap around this god-belief
Some kind of religious trapping
That then traps people's minds and bodies

We are all looking for some kind of
Self-fulfillment, some meaning
To our lives and the world around us
But, if you can accept the unknown
Accept that the universe has mysteries
Mysteries that aren't supernatural
Mysteries that can slowly be explained
Or, perhaps not....at least, not now
Still, we can look at the world and marvel
We can look at the world and cry
We can look at this world of pain and joy
And have faith - faith in ourselves
Life is billions of temporal paths
All leading into a future
That does not have any perceived clarity
But that does not mean we should
Abdicate our ability to think and reason
They say that if God does not exist
Then we would have to invent him
To explain the mystery and give us comfort
I find comfort in good, intelligent people!



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

Light Bringer

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/16/2017 - 07:28
Light Bringer

I turn my back on angels
Who the fuck needs them?
Needs such righteousness, such purity
I look to demons, sinners
Those who are fallen, like me
To them I can relate to
Remember, the Light Bringer
Came to us, came to us
Perhaps, even he couldn't stand
The uptight stink of heaven



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

Sitting in a Bar

Aikido Blogs - Sat, 07/08/2017 - 21:21
Sitting in a Bar

Sitting in a bar
On the north side of Chicago
Watching people, thinking
I can almost grasp it, almost
It's there, tantalizingly so - almost!
An real existential moment
(I get a lot of those in bars!)
What does it all mean?
We go about our business
Working, doing stuff....
Seeking some sort of connection
But, is there more? Has to be!

I now sit in another bar
A thousand years from now
On a distant space station
Orbiting a majestic gas giant
Thinking the same thoughts -
We have since discovered god
And asked him to give humanity a break
He's been so busy catching up
With the ever exploding multiverse, anyway
But we still search for true meaning -
The bartender keeps them coming
A very retro bar - a human bartender!
Sgt. Pepper plays in the background
Did I say retro?

Maybe in another thousand years
We will have it all figured out??
Later I will take in some
Low gravity Aikido practice
Watching through massive screens
The swirl of fantastic, fast moving gases
In the gas giant below
As nage and uke go round and round
Seeking a union as tantalizingly ephemeral
As that which we have all searched for
Since our mortal creation



www.nothing-works.com
Categories: Aikido

Uchideshi Training at Korinji Monastery (Madison, WI)

Aikido News - Sat, 07/08/2017 - 21:16
Uchideshi Training at Korinji Monastery (Madison, WI)
From: Kristen Radtke posted on 8. Jul 2017, 08:16pm
URL: https://www.korinji.org/focused-internships

Applications are being accepted for combined Aikido/Zen residential training at Korinji, a Rinzai monastery near Madison, WI. Meido Moore Sensei (6th dan), who is also a Zen teacher, serves as the Korinji abbot and will direct the training. Uchideshi in this full-time residential program will participate in daily Zen practice according to the monastic schedule, but with approximately 4 hours daily allotted for Aikido training. For formal uchideshi training a minimum stay of six months is required, with longer stays encouraged. Persons wishing to reside and train for shorter periods are also welcome, however, as general guests. For more information please click the link; inquiries may be directed to info@korinji.org.

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    "The Language of Aikido" Now in Paperback!

    Aikido News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 23:09
    "The Language of Aikido" Now in Paperback!
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 5. Jul 2017, 10:09pm
    URL: http://amzn.to/2tODUHv

    "The Language of Aikido: A Practitioner's Guide to Japanese Characters and Terminology" by Michael Hacker is now available in paperback! “The Language of Aikido” is a well-researched book steeped with scholarship, personal experience, and heart. I believe “The Language of Aikido” will help clarify the Japanese language as used in Aikido to deepen both the theory as well as the practice of our art for students and teachers of all approaches, backgrounds, and experience levels. An invaluable addition to every Aikido library. Highly recommended!

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    Aikido Assassins: The gang of Siberian athletes turned contract killers

    Aikido News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 01:59
    Aikido Assassins: The gang of Siberian athletes turned contract killers
    From: Jun Akiyama posted on 5. Jul 2017, 12:59am
    URL: https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2017/7/4/15919418/aikido-assassins-the-gang-of-siberian-athletes-turned-contract-killers

    This article entitled "Aikido Assassins: The gang of Siberian athletes turned contract killers" describes Andrey Sinyukov, head of the Aikido Federation in Kuzbass, who reportedly engaged in racketeering, money-laundering, blackmail, and even murder through a criminal organization masquerading as a sports entity that he founded. From the article: "Sinyukov is reportedly a 2nd dan blackbelt in Aikido, a title he received in Tokyo. In Russia, he owned and operated the ‘Sei Shin’ training facility for children interested in learning Aikido. He regularly gave interviews to Kuzbass media, where he discussed the importance of sports as a form of education. This façade of legitimacy created by Sinyukov lasted until the the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in the Kemerovo region reported that Sinyukov was “suspected in a number of especially grave crimes, including murder." In a matter of hours, Sinyukov went from a respected member of society to a wanted fugitive fleeing prosecution."

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    8/26-8/27, 2017: How to Run an Aikido Dojo Workshop, Spotsylvania, VA

    Aikido News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 01:56
    8/26-8/27, 2017: How to Run an Aikido Dojo Workshop, Spotsylvania, VA
    From: Aviv Goldsmith posted on 5. Jul 2017, 12:56am
    URL: http://www.gashuku.net

    8/26-8/27, 2017 in Spotsylvania, CA: We are offering an innovative and informative seminar for Dojo Cho and Senseis and Assistant Instructors. How to Run an Aikido Dojo will be led by a successful businessperson and 6th dan Sensei, Aviv Goldsmith. Learn about all facets of how to make your dojo be more successful and efficient. http://www.gashuku.net/documents/HowtoteachAikidoSeminar2017.pdf

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    Eve of Deconstruction

    Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 00:44
    Eve of Deconstruction

    And tell me
    Over and over and over and over again my friend
    You don't believe
    We're on the eve of deconstruction
    Mmm, no, no, you don't believe
    We're on the eve of deconstruction

    All the Bannons are a flyin'
    All the signs are a pointin', pointin'
    Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
    Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
    If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
    There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
    Take a look around you boy
    It's bound to scare you boy
    Look whose finger is on the button, boy
    Look whose finger is on the button!

    And you tell me
    Over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don't believe
    We're on the eve of deconstruction

    Look at all the policies a plottin'
    The American infrastructure deconstructin'
    Look at all the cabinet choices
    Look at all the scandals explodin'
    Look at all the Tweets, my boy
    Yeah my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
    I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
    I can't twist the truth it knows no regulation
    Handful of senators don't pass good legislation
    And marches alone can't bring integration
    When human respect is disintegratin'
    This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

    And you tell me
    Over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don't believe
    We're on the eve of deconstruction!


    ***********************************
    Have a good 4th of July......and,
    With apologies to Barry McGuire
    Categories: Aikido

    God

    Aikido Blogs - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 01:52
    God

    God visited me tonight
    He came out of the night sky
    A blazing span of stars and nebulae
    He came dressed in tenuous clouds
    Drifting in pulse-beat with the spheres
    He came with the ocean reflecting
    The splendor of the heavens
    The ebb and flow of the waters
    In counterpoint to the drifting clouds
    He came into my own eyes
    And found his way into my soul
    Where my each and every breath
    Measured themselves in cosmic time



    www.nothing-works.com
    Categories: Aikido

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