I’m constantly exploring Aikido as a system and as a life philosophy. The journey I’ve been on so far has been amazing. I don’t think any other martial art could keep my attention the way Aikido has. Our martial art has so much potential and I believe most of that potential is yet unrealized!
The parts of our system that I feel I really “get”, are realizations I had by accident. I’ve stumbled upon so many great things, but they were all things I didn’t know I was looking for. I believe this has been the key to my success so far- an open mind. At first I tried to make Aikido into what I wanted it to be. For the first five years of my Aikido study, even after my Shodan, I continually tried to fit Aikido into what I thought it should be, what I wanted it to be. That never worked out. I would try to use Aikido in confrontations I had, and fail. I started studying MMA. MMA did work in the situations where Aikido had failed me. MMA had all of the answers that my young mind wanted to know about fighting another guy who wanted to beat me up. MMA taught me how to fight one guy. So, for a moment there I decided Aikido “didn’t work” . And I was right- it didn’t work in the way I wanted it to. Aikido didn’t do what I expected it to, it didn’t fit in the box I made for it. Through pure chance I got into a pretty serious physical confrontation where Aikido did work, all of a sudden like magic. This confrontation was different than the one’s I wanted to train for- Aikido had answers for situations I had not thought about. Upon further examination of these types of situations they were important things to consider and had I been more broad minded, probably would have been seeking to understand. These were situations I had overlooked and situations that MMA didn’t account for. This marked a clear divide for me. It showed me how looking at something one way can make it seem like it doesn’t “work” yet looking at it in a different light made it “work” brilliantly. Because this was such a dramatic event, it forced me to open my mind and try to listen to what Aikido was asking to be instead of what I thought it should be. I learned a lesson. I learned to listen to the system and not my own desires. By doing this Aikido has revealed many of her secrets to me. I have been impressed with what she has taught me, but I believe there is much more to be discovered.
I have been on a wonderful Aikido journey and I would like more travel mates. More Aikido explorers. I would like this because Aikido is so interesting and I believe there is so much yet to be understood that I know I can’t make all the discoveries myself. When I look at most Aikido students I see them doing what I used to do- trying to make Aikido fit into what they want it to be, instead of listening to the system. When you listen to Aikido, she will tell you when you are right. Everything will unfold when you find something true about Aikido. Sometimes you have to listen for a long time, and some of her lessons are difficult or strange- but when she gives you a secret it’s truth will be obvious and perfect. For me when I learn something new about Aikido, I can see that it was right in front of me the whole time, but I just couldn’t accept it. When I do accept Aikido’s reality the power of these secrets are incredible!
Listen to the system- let’s explore together!!