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I used to think that my study of Aikido was all about seeking. I have come to understand that it isn't about that at all; my study of Aikido is all about finding. O Sensei, IMO, never intended Aikido to be a ‘one size fits all' art. Consequently, I don't want to emulate him. I can't, not being him, recreate his Aikido in myself. His Aikido was an amalgamation of his life experience; quite unique and surely far different from my own. In a sense, he didn't create Aikido, it grew out of him and all that he was and did.
What I learned from Maruyama Sensei primarily was how to learn about Aikido through discovering myself. I got from him the notion that waza is but one tool, not the finished work. Ki exercises and testing are likewise just tools of discovery. Forms, exercises, practice… my toolkit for delving into my self and my relationship to the rest of creation from which my Aikido grows and is enriched as I grow and learn.
The canvas accepts the paint
yet the paint itself leaves no mark.
are rendered and disappear
as soon as they are completed.
The painting can be finished,
leave no shadow of itself
on the canvas
which is always blank.
On the mat
like the canvas,
accepting the attack,
which leaves no memory
to note its having happened.