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Light Bringer

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
Categories: Aikido

Sitting in a Bar

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
Categories: Aikido

Eve of Deconstruction

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


Sun, 06/25/2017 - 01:52

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
Categories: Aikido

Color of Your Mind

Sun, 06/18/2017 - 02:37
Color of Your Mind

Learn about life from life
About death from death
Direct experience
Is the best experience
Do not ponder overlong
Minimize that distance
Between self and object
Then the essential nature
Is revealed
So, kiss the wind
Cry with the rain
Walk the earth
Smell the blossoms
Caress your own tombstone
The color of your mind
Should be the same as that
Which you perceive
Categories: Aikido

Trust the Wind

Sun, 06/11/2017 - 22:07
Trust the Wind

Flow and harmony
Are usually lacking
In life, in general
Chaos makes us afraid
Makes us unsure
But, trust the wind
Trust its essence
And make it your own
Categories: Aikido


Mon, 06/05/2017 - 23:54

People and palaces
Mountains and rivers
All erode over time
But the teaching remains

Kilworth Chapel
University of Puget Sound
A gathering, a remembrance
A commemoration of a life
But mostly, a celebration
Of a very special life!
Solemn, respectful, beautiful,
But, full of joy, also!

The chanting, the chanting
The Heart Sutra - The Heart of the
Perfection of Understanding

Something we can all meditate on
Feeling so familiar and soothing
Deep, flowing, harmonious...
The drum, beating in counterpoint
Occasionally, a bell ringing
All blending into a comforting whole
Resonating within the congregation

Life is but a brush of wind
Lightly felt upon the world
So goes an old Chinese saying
But, not so some lives
Chiba Sensei left his mark
In his family, his friends,
His organization, his art,
And in all his students

His life was more like a rock
Thrown into life's pond
With ripples expanding out and out
In ever increasing waves
With each of his loved ones
And all his students over the years
Creating their own ripples, ripples
A continuation of a heritage and a legacy
Beyond one mere mortal life

... but a brush of wind...?
Not so...unless that wind
Was a hurricane!

Summer Camp...
As gi and hakama flow
A gathering of hearts!

Categories: Aikido

Broken Barriers

Sun, 06/04/2017 - 23:18
Broken Barriers

Once the barriers are broken
And the hinges smashed
You look back and see
That there was no need for violence
For the gate was always open
Categories: Aikido

saviors or abusers?

Thu, 06/01/2017 - 20:32
I used to think that all men were saviors. Then I thought all men were abusers.

When I was a little girl I thought men kept us safe and protected us from the world. After I started training I thought all men hurt women and there was no hope.

Now I know the truth is complicated. Good men exist. Good men do bad things sometimes. Bad men do bad things and maybe good things sometimes.

No man is coming to save me. That is my job. I can learn from all situations. Every single moment can teach me about more about survival and thriving.

I spent many years looking for my knight is shining armor. Trust me…he is not sitting on a bar stool.

I starting training in Aikido and found a good man: but better than that I found a good woman who no longer was willing to be saved or be abused.

In aikido I found my own power. It started subtly as I trained with men who rough around the edges but had good hearts. Men who encouraged me to roll and to wear my white gi pants to fit in; that didn’t care if I looked pretty or got sweaty.

There were men in that dojo that were self-absorbed and sexist …just like there is all over the world. There were men who did not want to be taught by a woman and who told me that women can’t get strong enough to protect themselves.

I just kept training and teaching. People that did not like our way at our dojo went away. We find that good people stay. We found that men are good and strong and respectful just as women are good and strong and respectful.

As we change, the people that we surround ourselves with change too. I am responsible for the choices I make. As men and women train together they can receive and give the best from each other.
Categories: Aikido

Not Sure About this One!

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 18:18
"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." - FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

In Japan, I got to experience Aikido in a way that very, very few people around the world get to. I am so thankful for that, but the cost was very, very high.

I was a bit of a fanatic back then, I'd make the morning practice, and then usually the evening practice and I wasn't even an uchi deshi.

I enjoyed the mornings because Kisshomaru Ueshiba would usually teach. I met the most amazing people. It was funny because you'd enter the dojo, and the "Old Timers" with the most experience would always line up at the far left, then you had your hot shot, big ego guys on your far right, right next to the entrance. The guys on the left were always way too intense for me, and the guys on the right...well, I just wasn't there to compete. I'd tend to stay in the middle.

But then one night, one of my Aikido friends, he actually saved my life once (for real), introduced me to a man that always sat way, way on the left, and that changed my life.

I really didn't believe in Aikido until he threw me (you know Aikido would never work in an MMA match. ) After training with him for over 10 years (until we parted ways), again, I feel like I got to experience Aikido in a way very, very few people get to, and again the cost was very high.

I guess being independently wealthy has it's benefits...

Anyway, to get back to my point in all of this, never settle for less than the best no matter the cost, and value what's most important to you in life. To me, it's Faith, Love, Perseverance, Friendship, Honesty, Truth, and most important, God. These things will make your Aikido most powerful.
Categories: Aikido

Placid Acheron

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 00:05
Placid Acheron

I stand by the ferry
Waiting, waiting my turn
The quay is always crowded now
And Charon is so busy!
But I am patient
The deep abyss of Tartarus
Can wait a little longer
Quiet, placid Acheron
Mother of Styx and Cocytus
Can ferry me to the underworld
Anytime, anytime - the dead
The dead have no need of timetables
My comrades and I stand easy
So many battles we fought together
There is no rush, no hurry
And Charon is always fair
He has eternity on his side
As now, do we

Please take some time this Memorial Day weekend to remember our military service members, past and present!
Categories: Aikido

Are We Really Learning to Fight?

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:36
I've heard it said many times, "the enemy is not of the flesh." Something so hard to understand. We train ourselves in Aikido to protect ourselves from someone, an enemy, attacking us.

But that person isn't really our enemy, "the enemy is not of the flesh," so in Aikido not only are we taught to protect ourselves, but also the person attacking. He or she is our brother or sister.

Yea, sometimes we really want to hurt someone, but isn't that because we're hurting on the inside. Something to think about...
Categories: Aikido

Punching your way out of a paper bag

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 15:56
It has been said many times that Aikidoka cannot punch their way out of a paper bag.

So I tried that.
I put my self in a paper bag and tried.
My first attempt didn't work because I wasn't relaxed enough.
My second attempt didn't work either because the paper bag didn't offer a sincere attack
My third attempt didn't work because the bag knew what I was going to do
My fourth attempt...
My fifth ...
My ...

Erik doesn't matter
Categories: Aikido


Fri, 05/19/2017 - 20:04
I'd like to start this blog off apologizing in advance. My intention is not to offend anyone or point the finger at anyone, just something I've been focusing on for a while now.

Aikido is a martial art and as one, one of the foundation of it is physical. That means you need to be in shape. I see way to many aikido sensei's that are over weight, that smoke or drink...they get up in front of the class and set the example, and it's not a good one!

On one occasion, I went to a seminar, and the first thing the instructor did after class was to light up a cigarette and invite everyone to drink. I watched an aikido demonstration, on another occasion, the the instructor was just way over weight!

Can you do 100 pushups or a 100 pull ups, jog 3 miles comfortably? Being in shape is a very important factor in our health and in our ability to perform the techniques of Aikido effectively.

If you're not in shape, Aikido is a wonderful tool to get into shape, as long as you're not the teacher...because most of the time they're just walking around telling everyone else what to do...

Consider most importantly your diet. What you eat is very important for overall health. Alcohol consumption, caffeine, sugary foods, these are not your friend.

Please comment below, What are you doing to become healthier, stronger and better at Aikido?
Categories: Aikido

Aikido is so SIMPLE!

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 19:39
Aikido is a very simple and easy art to learn. I believe that you can learn all the techniques in one day.

Let's see, Ikkyo through Gokkyo are pretty much exactly the same except for the ending. Iriminage and Kotegaeshi are exactly the same except for the body part that the technique is being applied to. Then, you have shihonage, Kaitenage, which are a little bit different, but not by much. then kokyu nage and tenchi nage's difference as so slight, dropping one are on the latter.

Koshinage, that's in every technique...

OK, so I strongly believe that you can learn every technique of Aikido on one day! BUT, learning the techniques, and being able to apply the techniques to an attack, now that's a totally different monster. That might take a bit longer. And I think that getting your black belt, definitely doesn't mean that you can do that...

Why do we make things so complicated......
Categories: Aikido

With a Pen

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 02:41
With a Pen

With a pen
I brush the scent of life
I pluck meaning here and there
I speak of clouds, of trees, of wind
I speak of far mountains
Covered in drifting mist
Still, what is my role here?
There is no meaning beyond me
My words separate me
So, putting pen aside
I sit, just sit, absorbing all
My paper remains empty
But, is it?
Categories: Aikido

Aikido Doesn't Work for Real!

Sat, 05/13/2017 - 20:50
OK, so a friend called me up and said that he saw this video on youtube that proved that Aikido doesn't work for real.

Can you believe that! Aikido doesn't work. Darn, I've been doing Aikido since I was 20 years old, martial arts since I was 5 years old, and to find out that I've wasted 26 years studying Aikido because it doesn't work.

Well, like I tell my students all the time. The art doesn't make the man, the man makes the art. So, ask yourself (if you're studying Aikido, that is), "Does Aikido work for me?" and if it doesn't, what do you need to do to make it work!

Anyhow, though Aikido is a martial art and should be an effect tool for self defense, it's also for physical and spiritual development, that means that you may be using it as a tool to grow spiritually, so then, it works for you.....

So, here is the second video to our Day 2 Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival:
Categories: Aikido

2017 Japan Festival Demonstration

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 18:09
Last weekend we had our Japan Festival Aikido Demonstration. I was lucky enough to get the demonstration video taped. Please enjoy:

Japan Festival 2017 Aikido Demonstration Day 1

We gave demonstrations on both days. I'm working on getting day 2 uploaded....
Categories: Aikido

Good Aikido

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 22:35
Good Aikido

Good aikido is fun aikido
If you are not enjoying the moment
Something is wrong
Whether as nage or uke
Defending or receiving
Joy is there
If you are nage
And your defense works
If you are uke and
Your receiving provides its
Very own, unique solution
Whatever, enjoy the moment
Good aikido is fun aikido
Categories: Aikido

Aikido Challenges

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 22:49
I'm giving an Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival this year and decided to have all of the students give a quick speech answering the question, how does Aikido Challenge you. I guess I'll have to give a small talk about that as well....

Aikido challenges me to take a deep look at myself, my shortcomings, my weaknesses and work on them. What I am doing and how am I moving? How is that movement affecting my uke? What am I doing wrong?

I find that when I'm getting frustrated with uke, it's really me that needs work. I think it's only taken me about 20 years to figure that out!
Categories: Aikido