I’ve been practising Aikido since about 1974 and I’m only just beginning to develop a new and worthwhile understanding. I’ve seen people who I believe really understand the essence of aikido, though I still struggle to find the way they achieve it. I would like to share what I now know with anyone who is interested. Therein lies the problem – no one is! I teach Aiki weapons, Jo and Ken and have done as a dedicated weapons class since 2008. These isolated years of training and exploring have opened up new and rewarding insights.
It’s about connection within self, about victory over self, overcoming the habits and reactions that we unerringly developed over the years to our detriment. The greatest power comes from relaxation. The lightest touch of thumb and forefinger on the Jo can overcome almost any opposing physical strength. To understand this, it is required to understand what is meant by relaxation. Videos and books can rarely if ever express the essence of the art of Aikido, though they may on occasions show you a suitable gateway. Once again, a recurring theme shows itself, what you really need is not what it appears to be. In fact what you desire, you can have, by doing the opposite of what you think you need. Never add strength, if anything, remove strength to find real power. Opposites have immense power, as does relaxation. However, the key to much success will come from your mind – your greatest friend and yet your greatest enemy.
You must learn alone but, to do so, you need the company of others.
Our modern, progressive world with all its impatient information and frenzied, tense activity finds little time for an inner journey that takes a lifetime . . . or more.
Eventually, this could draw people into a dark age of wide spread mental illnesses . . . and there may not be a lamp left burning for them to find their way out.
Aikido has a beneficial spiritual quality, or at least it should have.
Even if O-Sensei's aikido dies out and its bones lie in the ashes with those of the Dodo, my own personal journey does not feel as though it was wasted, despite the disappointment of no new students to enjoy the same.