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This was written by request for Sensei Ken Robson upon completing my 3rd Dan test. I thought it was a crap idea until I started writing.
‘No matter what it is, there is nothing that cannot be done. If one manifests the determination, he can move heaven and earth if he pleases. But because man is pluckless, he cannot set his mind to it. Moving heaven and earth without putting forth effort is simply a matter of concentration'
In this paper I intend to discuss Aikido in terms of many different criteria. Aikido has become the hub of my wheel (as per the instructions of Soke Stratton) and has shown me a discipline that has empowered me in my daily life. Technique has made thought patterns in my head that have proven their worth physically and mentally, in dealing with an ever more vulgar society. Bushido has taught me a great deal about how to conduct myself on and off the mat.
I remember watching my first class in castle hall in August 1997. I was a school leaver and going through a great deal of changes. I remember taking my first class there and meeting Soke Stratton. I remember making a decision to train with commitment from the start. Aikido had a worth that was obvious to me consciously. Physically and mentally it would make me a better person. There was also worth that was attractive to me subconsciously. The root of Aikido was benevolence, and humility. That is how I want to live my life. I have a long way to go.
The practice of Aikido, in the Shudokan, is b