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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,716,076


In Spiritual Does your aikido reflect your heart? Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #2 New 05-14-2010 11:59 AM
Does your aikido reflect your heart? A famous aikido teacher whose technique was impressive and graceful was in fact a petty, arrogant and unpleasant man. It was very difficult for me to reconcile that with his beautiful aikido.

At a spiritual level he didn't understand ai or aiki - harmony or blending of energy - at all. And at a simpler level he didn't understand reigi - courtesy and respect. Come to think of it that reminds me of some of the posts in the forums.

I don't want to get into a personal discussion about him so I'll just say one of his initials was Y and anyone who wants to know his name can ask me. I want to talk about the interesting concept of a person's art reflecting the person's heart.

In the final analysis a work of art must stand on its own. We can appreciate the stark truth of a painting by Picasso or the textured brilliance of an opera by Mozart without having to know if they were good humans.

But I can't accept that for aikido. Especially from a teacher. Aikido should reflect the openness, the sincerity and the goodness of the person doing it.

So my conclusion? Years later I realized that my eyes just hadn't been ready to see past that teacher's technical brilliance to the truth behind it. That his aikido was sterile and dead.

At an aikido seminar once a young guy with a white belt asked me to show him something - anything - he could teach his students. He was a teacher - not because he wanted to be but because he was the highest rank in his town. But he was honest and open and his aikido shone.

So if we try to live our lives the best we can and become the best humans we can our aikido will naturally be living and wonderful.

photo: Two Hearts Beat As One by Luc De Leeuw http://www.flickr.com/photos/9619972@N08/2771032841/ photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/9619972...th/2771032841/ used under creative commons licence

niall matthews 2010
Views: 7934 | Comments: 17

RSS Feed 17 Responses to "Does your aikido reflect your heart?"
#17 08-24-2011 11:51 AM
guest1234567 Says:
I found this phrase in The way of the bow of Paulo Coelho Now, a few minutes ago,you called me master. What is a master? I would say that he is not someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to do his best to discover a knowledge he already has in his soul.' I wanted to share it.
#16 08-14-2011 10:20 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Yes, I forgot to put the name below and I think the same and that is what I understand O'Sensei ment to polish our heart.
#15 08-14-2011 09:09 AM
niall Says:
That sounds like a doka of O Sensei. I think he uses aiki to mean aikido, not with the limited meaning some people use in the forums. I think what you polish is your own heart.
#14 12-01-2010 02:00 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Aiki is the power of harmony between all things. Polish it ceaselessly, Everyone of the Way.
#13 11-19-2010 04:10 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Carina. One day I'll write a post about finding a teacher.
#12 11-15-2010 02:07 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Perhaps our shihan did not see it or he followed him anyway, I'll put you the link for a video per mail. But anyway, the student of this blind shihan is the teacher of my teacher that's what I liked to say ura transformed in omote. Yes, my teacher is a good person, he also told my I was a gift for their dojo ,
#11 11-14-2010 04:53 PM
niall Says:
[continued] Casual students who occasionally did his classes might not have been sensitive to it. Or perhaps some students decided to try to catch the good parts of his aikido despite his dark parts? I realized his character soon I think but it took me a very long time to understand that his superficial brilliance was really only emptiness.
#10 11-14-2010 04:48 PM
niall Says:
This is an interesting question. To take an extreme: would you accept that an evil person taught you tennis, say, or drawing? Aikido has spiritual depths and I couldn't reconcile learning it from someone who wasn't pure. As I said that teacher was proud, unkind and vindictive. So people who followed him either couldn't realize that - so their judgement was not good - or they could realize it and followed him anyway - so their judgement was not good.
#9 11-14-2010 02:24 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Niall about the ura of this shihan, I think after all the years and by his students and the students of them ura became omote, my teacher is an example, don't you think so?
#8 11-13-2010 10:26 PM
niall Says:
He sounds like a good teacher, Carina. I'm glad you found him.
#7 11-13-2010 11:23 AM
guest1234567 Says:
I know now, because the aikido of my current teacher Manuel is an honest one, it comes from his heart, he is the best teacher a could have, last year he prepared me and my companions for the shodan and nidan test in his free time without any charge, just because he likes to see how we progress and beeing proud of us like a father
#6 11-13-2010 11:23 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Now I know that all the negative things that I passed trough are only to become better ones, like this new dojo, I cannot go walking but I found so nice people, my teacher, his wife, his nice little son and all the others are like a family for me. And the aikido is better, I became stronger, more confident in myself, that happend,..........
#5 05-15-2010 11:48 PM
niall Says:
By the way Jun just posted a cool article about Homma Sensei and the things he does for the community in Colorado. I've never met him and I don't know anything about his technique but he seems to be living aikido in a real sense. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...483#post257483
#4 05-15-2010 11:45 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Peter - I appreciate your thoughtful comments in all your writing about aikido. The two teachers I followed until they died lived the way they did aikido so there was no disconnect. You knew Arikawa Sensei. He was a kind and pure man despite his ferocious image and I could always feel that in his aikido. I only felt the dilemma you talked about with that other hombu shihan whose aikido seemed great (but I remember him looking at the uke almost with scorn...).
#3 05-15-2010 10:51 PM
Hello Niall, In my aikido life it has fallen to me to know seven Japanese aikido teachers fairly well. In every single case, a dilemma arose: how do you deal with the ura? There is always a tension between what aikidoka believe to be desirable about aikido, and what they actually desire through practising the art. I think this is because aikido is a social activity invested with moral significance and so, of course, the seven teachers also exhibited this tension. Best wishes, PAG

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