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Venn Aikido

Sat, 04/07/2018 - 20:10
Venn Aikido

When I practice Aikido
I can't help but think
Of Venn diagrams
(You, too, right?!)
Of nage and uke
Disparate circles - merging
The set of me (nage)
Intersecting with set (uke)
N ∩ U -
The overlapping regions depicting
A set of possible outcomes
I automatically drop down
To Euler diagrams
Eliminating non-relevant options
Allowing me to choose
A fitting technique and outcome -
Ah, if only I were so elegant!

Categories: Aikido

So much to be learned

Tue, 04/03/2018 - 22:12
Today is a special day. 6 years ago it was a rude awakening. No longer was there someone to hold my hand, no longer was their someone to reminded me to be kind. One of my main examples and teachers died. I miss Alan Ruddock for his wit, his kindness and his firm understanding of aikido.

I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from several good teachers, special teachers, direct students of O'Sensei.

They taught me so much. About aikido, about the ideas of aikido, about learning aikido. And those weren't just words, those were concepts that could be tested on the tatami.

But what did we do? And now one of the really weird things enters the playing field. We never trained with uke resisting what was happening. To a lot of people this is a weird Idea, I know. But why is that a thing we never trained?

Now years later I think I have maybe half the answer to that.
We never trained that because it is pointless. Uke doesn't have the choice to resist, it never is ukes job to resist. From the first start of intention uke is locked in what is happening. There is no resistance as resistance is futile. What should you resist? Your own movement? From the beginning uke is locked in what is happening, and (and here we enter the twilight zone of weird aikimagic, as some more down to earth, real, aikido people claim) so is nage. The movement is. It is not deflected or changed, it is accepted. Hence nage is absolutely free in what he is doing as absolute freedom comes from not having a choice. Nage is the observer of the movement.

I know this isn't real aikido, it is just make believe until someone truly attacks and lands on his head. Trust me, I have been there. Landing on your head is not something I would advise, but it is one hell of a wake-up call about what is real and what isn't.

And now no-one is left to tell me this. I should be telling people maybe, but I don't feel the urge to swim up against the stream. Does that make me a bad aikidoka?
Categories: Aikido

Flowing Water

Sun, 04/01/2018 - 00:15
Flowing Water

Clouds return to where they were born
When I catch up, I am surrounded by mist
Till I follow the freely flowing water

Categories: Aikido

The Mountain

Sun, 03/25/2018 - 00:32
The Mountain

The mountain is my way
Yet the mountain stands in my way
Only when this duality disappears
Will I be one with the high clouds

Categories: Aikido


Sat, 03/17/2018 - 23:37

Duration, with no sense of time
I sit, and sit, just sit
Thoughts gone, feelings gone
Even pain gone
Transition back to real time
Is obvious, is now
But, where I have been
How I got back
Is still to me, a mystery

Categories: Aikido

Night Air

Sun, 03/11/2018 - 21:25
Night Air

Night air pours through the open window
I lie in bed waiting for the moon to rise
And shower me in silver illumination
This is our time, when you will come to me

Categories: Aikido


Sun, 03/04/2018 - 00:46

Dust everywhere
It clings to me
It surrounds me
It distracts me
Where can I go
What can I do
To escape all this dust?

Categories: Aikido


Mon, 02/26/2018 - 02:14

Aiki never resists
Yet is always victorious
It speaks about a harmonious joining
Of spirit and energies
Perhaps of directed intent
Of a strong Kiai!
It speaks of internal power
Of integrated, whole body force
Ah, aiki, so elusive…
Perhaps that is its ultimate meaning
Of fitting together all these definitions
Such that adaptation is true aiki
Aiki-do -- The Way of Adaptation?

Categories: Aikido

Show Up!

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 01:44
Show Up!

Any talent at all
Is a gift to treasure
But, to be tactless
His greatest gift was
Just showing up
He tried, he tried hard
He improved, but improved
Without any real potential
He wasn't going to be a star
And, he knew it
Still, where was the bar set?
He was friendly, obeyed the rules
And showed up, was always there
Each class was painful
Was a deep physical and
Psychological struggle
But, he persevered
He showed up
Years later, when he taught
His own struggle and patience
He bestowed on his students
He became one of the dojos
Very best instructors
Even now, the best lesson he teaches
Is just: show up!

Categories: Aikido

Silence of Bells

Sun, 02/11/2018 - 00:58
Silence of Bells

With bell sounds gone
No left one to maintain the old traditions
River stones set in the tokonoma
Slowly covering in dust
Achieving silent perfection on their own
Cold air from broken windows stir
The weeds growing in the tatami edges
Over the years I remember most
The silence of bells
When, finally, everyone left

Categories: Aikido


Sun, 02/04/2018 - 23:49

When I stop to cut a cloud
Blocking my mountain path
I realize how foolish I am

Categories: Aikido

The Moon Hides

Sun, 01/28/2018 - 02:31
The Moon Hides

In shyness the moon hides
But I coach it out, slowly
Without words or thoughts

Categories: Aikido

All the Trees

Sun, 01/21/2018 - 01:05
All the Trees

All the trees
Know the wind intimately
Constantly they wind-dance
With each other

So, I keenly watch, observe
Looking for ancient wisdom
But, all I see are trees
Bending in the wind

Categories: Aikido

Aikido gratitude list

Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:25
1. I am Grateful to have a dojo at my house.
2. I am Grateful to have a really good teacher.

3. I am Grateful to be able to teach and train.
4. I am Grateful for class tomorrow.

5. I am Grateful to watch negative thoughts come and go without me having to entertain them.
6. I am Grateful for our students.

7. I am Grateful that students call when they are not coming to class so we don't have to heat the dojo when no one shows up for class.
8. I am Grateful that people show up a lot and that when they don't -- Ron and I can talk about our feelings and let them go.

9. I am Grateful for every student that stayed and for everyone that left.
10. I am Grateful that I believe that more people will get interested in Aikido again and that this dojo will be here when they do.

11. I am Grateful for students who pay dues.
12 I am Grateful for the willingness to write a gratitude list rather complain about what is lacking.

13. I am Grateful for the feeling of hope that this writing has started.
14. I am Grateful for that feeling when I get my hakama on just right.

15. I am Grateful for my commitment to my training...
16. I am Grateful for what training that long has afforded me.

17. I am Grateful for all that I will learn in my next 30 plus years.
18. I am Grateful that I am married to a man who loves Aikido as much as I do.

19. I am Grateful that I train in the style that I do so I don't have knee or hip problems.
20. I am grateful that I can roll and fall and love being an uke still.

Wow that really helped.
What are you Grateful for?
Categories: Aikido

Dead Meditation

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 00:08
Dead Meditation

In dead meditation
I approach, slowly, hesitantly, nothing…
But, also realizing that I
Left nothing behind me
Till I understand that nothing
Is not a place, and idea, beyond me
Nothing is all around me
Inside me
A part of me
Or, actually, I am part of it
So, with no-place to go
I arrive

Categories: Aikido

No One

Sat, 01/06/2018 - 23:45
No One

The bell talks to itself
The dojo is empty
Not even a shadow
Dwells in the mirror

Categories: Aikido

All Roads

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 00:18
All Roads

All roads lead me home
The paths are all one-way
There is no turning back

Though I am sometimes slowed
By fear and suffering
I continue

Categories: Aikido