Aikido is a martial study of the mind and body. It is also known as the art of peace.
In my experience, Aikido, as well as being a perfect vehicle to enhance coordination and develop oneself, it is a study that greatly involves the mind.
I mean we learn physical techniques, but the real learning is learning that mind moves body.
Our motto for training is as follows.
Let us have a universal spirit that loves and protects all creation and helps all things grow and develop. To unify mind and body and become one with the universe is the ultimate purpose of my study.
Aikido is a vehicle for learning how to control ourselves, not others. Firstly this must start with the right mind. A mind of compassion for others. This is not an art to defeat others with. Although most techniques can be lethal if applied, but to have the power to not hurt others is a high standard that we as Aikidoka strive to achieve. This displays to others a calm mind and is in line with our motto.
I guess when most people think of mind power they think of how it can be harnessed to overcome obstacles in our lives. But what is mind power? And can it be harnessed? I guess we need to firstly understand, what is mind? I mean, can you tell me where your mind is? Is it in your head? Is it in your stomach? What actually is mind? What does it weigh?
So you may start to see with all of these questions that mind does not seem to be a tangible object in our reality, but it affects everything that we do in this reality. I like to think of it this way.
Think it, speak it, create it.
So whatever forms in your mind, for whatever reason, if you speak about it then you can create it. So in saying that, mind is a very powerful thing, because whatever you can conceive in your mind can be brought into this reality.
So this leads to positive and negative thinking. If whatever you can think of, you can create in this world, then wouldnít it make sense to think of good, positive things and have a happy life? It sounds simple doesnít it. So why do we think of negative things all of the time and wonder why life is so hard? One answer to this may be the fact that we think we are all separate from each other when really we are all one. We can even take this further and say that we are all part of one universal mind, one consciousness. With this understanding we can see that positive thoughts and actions will only create happiness for us. Because positive actions are helping others which in turn, are really ourselves.
Now some of you may find it hard to agree that we are all one. But imagine for a second that everything in the universe is made of clay. Ok, this piece of clay is a chair, and this piece of clay over here is a person. Ok, but itís still all clay isnít it? Ok, now replace the word clay with the smallest building block of the universe. Does the theory still hold true?
Trying to see yourself as separate from others leads you to thinking negative things, like greed etc. Do not try and think only of positive thoughts and not of negative thoughts. This is really insignificant. I will explain this by a poem written at the turn of the century by one of my teachers.
Do not concern yourself with good or bad.
If you act rightly, those words lose their meaning.
There is only the good that you do.
Aikido throws many challenges to the student during their training. These challenges are usually things that the student needs to deal with themselves. This "inner fight" can be some of the most challenging aspects of the art. This is where ego comes into play. Many people find dealing with their own ego the hardest thing to do. Once this can be overcome though, a peaceful feeling of being part of a whole is allowed to grow within the student. Training in Aikido enables the student to find happiness much easier in all aspects of their daily lives.
Aikido for children is a most valuable tool. With regular practice it allows them to get to know themselves and overcome their inner fears and doubts which in turn manifests rewards in better academic achievements, social self confidence and respect.
Aikido is not an art to hurt people with, it is an art to bring people together and help them realize that we are all one family.
This understanding, attained through training in Aikido, permeates a peaceful feeling throughout your life and to those around you. This is the state we can achieve with regular training of mind and body unification through Aikido.
I invite you to train with me and explore the magnificence within yourself through the principles of Aikido, the way of the Universe.
See you on the mat!