Aikido is under-appreciated I feel; both as a martial means of defending oneself and as a way of life. The second part I’ll get to later but first martially there are plenty of applications that most people just seem to overlook or turn a cold shoulder (due to various reasons). I’ve had the honor of experiencing the practical application of Aikido first hand through Robert Koga Sensei and I’ll say, at 70 something years of age he will still put any angry criminal to the concrete fast! I have yet to get into a bar fight myself, but I can only hope that I will be ready when and where that comes.
As a way of life, I can only imagine how Morihei Ueshiba’s life was – how hard and (dare I say) adventurous it was. It issaid that the success in one’s life is in the journey (paraphrased) and that’s the feeling that I get whenever I hear his name. I studied history while in college so I guess that’s how I look at things – the history of it and what happened before an event: how did people get to where they did and what happened in between point A and B. What was the build up from any said points? Did they follow a pattern or was it a broken play? (to borrow a musical term). Take for example Bruce Lee – growing up in a privileged and stable household yet had to deal with all the street gangs of Hong Kong during the 50s – while being mentored by Yip Man for some time. I have a feeling that all of this had a big impact on how he looked at things and how he molded his future accomplishments.
It’s always interesting to hear, listen, and or to read about the greats and all of their respective journeys, be it Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei, Bruce Lee, or whomever. At the same time we are all in our own journeys, with ups and downs. As for my case, it was interesting – and coincidental that my application for a teaching certificate was rejected by the local university that same day (along with some other personal downers). Odd timing, Monday was not a good day – the first in a long while actually.
During the memorial training this past Sunday it was surreal and tiring at the same time. I didn’t eat breakfast and trained straight for 4 hours (note to self: eat more – and healthier as you train more!). There were 4 Sensei that day were:
Frank Silvey – 4th dan, Linda Holiday – 6th dan, Robert Noha – 5th dan, and Jack Wada – 6th dan
There was Betsy Hill – 3rd dan who unfortunately couldn’t make due to health issues and her time slot was taught by Frank. The ending ceremony was rather interesting. We all (~40 of us students and instructors) bowed to the shomen and what felt like a good 15-20 mins listened to the Shinto chants by Holiday and Wada Sensei’s. There was a noticeably different feeling in the air from last year, something in the air gathered in the dojo and it just felt a little different. Great chants by the way – the way that (hopefully) O’Sensei would approve. Thank you to all 4 sensei’s for their presence and instruction.
It is beautiful to watch your journey – ups and downs. It has been interesting to embrace all parts of life while watch ourselves in action in order to continue our mastery. I agree with you, Aikido is definitely under appreciated. It is up to us to spread the word. My heart is with you my friend.