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I have been practicing Aikido for about 7 Years (Not counting the 1 1/2 during my teens) and try to read about Budo as much as I can. This term "Giri" is one that fascinates me. Giri meaning "Obligation", "Duty" or "Debt" is something I am not sure that most beginners know about or think about. I think in this culture and society where information and gratitude are now instantaneous, acknowledgement and being thankful are two ideas that may be becoming scarce in the next generation.
Being in the dojo has made me realize that for every hour I practice my sensei is there investing her hour also in me. That is not counting the hours she has put in learning this technique or the hours her teacher invested in her. On a grander scale this single technique has hundreds or thousands of hours through generations of people invested in it. A living moving antique passed down through generations. Being aware of this idea made me realize the value of my continued participation in Aikido. I owe a debt to my Sensei for investing in me in many different ways and the only way I can repay her is to continue investing my life in Aikido to help pass it on. I often wonder if beginners understood what Giri meant ( I am not sure myself this is just my interpretation!!) would that make them more dedicated or scare them away!!
This pondering on Giri has changed my ideas about life in general. I think about my son who was just born, will he understand the investment and obligation we put into him? All I know that is when I teach my son Aikido I will tell him of all the people who came before him and time taken for him to learn this one thing. Some debts are good ones