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Recently Mary and I visited the Kaufman house, at Fallingwater, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. After touring the house and grounds I thought to myself, here is a prime example of the principles of Aikido applied to daily life. The house is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. It doesn't so much sit on the site as seem to grow out of it, more like a natural formation than something built. The amazing thing is that Wright only visited the site once before designing the house. Now Wright never studied Aikido but he must have been aware on some intuitive level of the principles that underlie the art. This became evident to me when I sat and contemplated how the house conforms to the site.
I read about Aikido and whether or not it is an effective form of self-defense or how it ‘measures up' against other martial arts in regard to destructive capability and I wonder if people aren't maybe missing the point. Aikido is an engine of creation. Practicing it creates good feelings among the participants. Studying together with my students in the dojo I become aware of the community that has grown and developed from a collection of individuals who formerly had no relationships to one another.
I have begun to see what O-Sensei was trying to say about Aikido and how its dissemination throughout the world would make the world a better place in which to live. When quoting O-Sensei in this regard I am usually met with a response the starts with the equivalent of "Yeah but…". I have learned that my best response to that attitude is a mental shrug and to continue to practice and teach. The beauty of Aikido is that it will make itself known in all its fullness to each and every student in the student's own time.