Aikido: Tools for Life
Success or failure is not a matter of luck, circumstances, fate. These are only excuses. The power to achieve is in my hands.
In the aikido view, conflict need not be the inevitable outcome of aggression, since the response to attacks can be neutralization rather than a selfish counterattack. To reduce conflict, this view relies not on external social arrangements, but on internal practices that calm the mind and promote harmony within oneself and with others. Aikido life is a physical conversation allowing a two-way interaction.
Life's successes come in small increments; sometimes mere tenths of a second. A newly learned skill, a little extra effort put on top of training, or just showing up to class when your body and psyche say "no," may separate a great result from a non-growing experience. What lies in between is compromise, the willpower to overcome the natural disposition to remain the same.
I feel that my commitment to Aikido life carries on into other aspects of life, and I believe that Aikido benefits by giving me the strength to deal with all different types of challenges. It's never too late and always the right time to take action to improve yourself and others. Aikido Benefits when I practice it, as my inspirations can become realized aspirations.
A few weeks ago I was visiting family in Pleasanton, which is really close to San Leandro, where I was also planning to train for a day. My in-laws knew I’d made the trip especially to train at a semi-annual event, and when I came home after a day of aikido training and demos, they asked, “so, how’d you do?” and “how was the tournament?” I explained that aikido doesn't work that way: no tournaments, no trophies and no competition. They looked blank. ”What’s the point?” they wondered.
But this is a major reason I like aikido. You train, get a hakama, and train some more. After shodan you look the same as a rokudan. Shodan & rokudan come along together: white top, strange black pants that may or may not hide your bare feet. Until you move. Shodan & rokudan defines first success in Aikido. Then maybe your skill suggests your level. The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, said that true victory is victory over you. Training to figure out what that means is a better goal than trying to win a shelf full of trophies.
What I Like About the Dojo.
The dojo is the soul of Aikido of Reno. It does not require much attention. It only asks that we care for it, insure its cleanliness, and that we are respectful. In return it provides a very supportive, self-sacrificing environment for the betterment of everyone’s aikido.
While at dojo we wear a uniform that most of the practitioners simply call it Aikido Gi. Aikido Gi is a traditional Aikido uniform which is commonly made from bleached cotton. Morihei Ueshiba seems to have used a traditional Aikido Gi with a dark colored hakama most of the time,
The dojo allows its members to set aside their own needs, and to nurture and enhance not only their own technical abilities, but also the aikido skills of those with whom they train. It is an environment that does not focus on self-serving needs, or demonstrating that one’s skills are better than another, or even to achieving the rank of black belt. Instead, the focus is on working cooperatively to enhance and increase the skill level of everyone.