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Eugene Leslie
01-04-2010, 03:45 PM
I wish to thank Jun Akiyama for allowing me to become a member of AikiWeb. It was kind as I am not a practicing Aikidoka at the moment but I have been trained in a introductory capacity for a few months under Sensei Brad Shultz of Abundant Peace Dojo in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. Bear with me as you read this please.
I come from the wrong side of the tracks so to speak; (traumatic, famililess (sp), foundationless childhood); and after a lifetime (it seems...I am 41) of searching for inner peace through theology, intellectualism, philosophy, psychology and "medications", I recently came to the end of myself in 2009 and even contemplated the end.
One faces the Truth in that state and after a series of dreams and epiphanies based upon all my experiences and learning I realized that I was being selfish and lazy. Selfish in only thinking about "my" past, and lazy in not taking action to overcome my "issues".
I grew up in a redneck city before the age of the world-connecting internet and social awareness concerning bullying and self-esteem, and so I tried to "fit" in....it wasn't ever me though, as I am a hyper- sensitive individual with the need to express love in a healthy manner.
I have worked in labour intensive jobs with coarse individuals and I am physically strong for it. I trained in Kung-fu, Judo, Boxing and Kenjutsu at various times throughout my life...and only for a short while; trying to be a "tough guy" and fit in with the competitive egos.
It's just not me: hence the suffering. I love animals and children and I have an inordinate amount of empathy for those that are suffering; I've been there. I see and understand the causes and effects from my own experiences. I firmly believe that my cat Max that I had for 14 years kept me alive by having me continue to pay the rent and providing me a source of reciprocating love through dark years.
In my short time training in Aikido I have never met more gentle people and like-minded / hearted individuals in my life.
I am moving to Calgary shortly and intend to train at Masa Kokoro if they will have me.
I can't stand my ego anymore. I intend to go to school to study for work where I may find more "enlightened" peers.
I have been reading O' Sensei's quotes and they line up with what is in my heart. I still have the warrior spirit; I understand the definition of "Samurai". I need to find the calm necessary to give me courage to love without regard to popular opinion.
Thanks for reading...I know It will take alot of work; but Aikido is the vehicle for which I can find self-discovery and give back.
From what I understand, Aikido brings together human beings who desire a peaceful loving world REGARDLESS of personal beliefs.
I am grateful for the gift O'sensei has given the world and I will humbly respect the true spirit of Aikido.
I find I am overwhelmed by the material on Aikido so I would appreciate any advice for a beginner. Of course I keep in mind
O' Sensei's teachings when he says;
"Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path".

I feel honored to have lived in this world before O'Sensei was called home...I was born a year before. He truly is a national treasure, moreso a treasure of humanity. If ever there was a candidate for the Nobel Peace prize....(politicians?..who decides those things anyway?).

01-04-2010, 04:08 PM
Hi Eugene,

Welcome to AikiWeb and thank you for your introduction.

-- Jun

Michael Fitzgerald
01-13-2010, 04:29 AM
G'day there mate.
I have found this place to be a great resource- and a lot of fun too! I hope you do as well.:)

01-13-2010, 06:12 AM
Thats a very open post.

Save it somewhere and in the years to come, when you reach the many crossroads that we all reach, when you read the many challenges to Aikido and have doubts about yourself, your sensei or the art go read it again and use it to refocus and regain your beginners mind and joy.

Best regards


01-13-2010, 10:36 AM
Welcome. I look forward to reading more posts from you. Your openess and honesty is an admirable trait. :)

Eugene Leslie
01-14-2010, 04:23 PM
Thanks guys..appreciate the replies. Sometimes I wear my heart on my sleeve too much but as Osensei said;

"...the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love."

"Aikido can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! "True victory" means unflinching courage; "self-victory" symbolizes unflagging effort; and "let that day arrive quickly" represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now."