There is a quality to that mental/physical practice that infuses everything you do. I think it is what Ueshiba was on about. I have met Chinese grandmaster level guys who were at peace with themselves and filled the room with their presence. And against all of my earlier prejudices (again Ellis was right), I have now met Aikido teachers who are stellar people and exhibit that same open and calm demeaner.
Here's the clincher....I have also met and seen the same calm and openness toward life's adversity in.....seasoned grapplers...who's concerns were not only about fighting either!! Talk to some of the Gracies and you will quickly see it is lifestyle and outlook.
All in all, I think having to maintain a balanced mental/physical state under pressure, puts you in the zone, a place that people inherently understand is beyond the norm. Being able to flush the cares of the world and go there...by choice...is truly one of lifes pleasures. it is definitely not unique to Aikido practice: Think of going all out with swords and Naginatas wizzing at your head in a prolonged ninety step kory kata designed to tax you, and you will understand the idea of the zone...think of being wrapped up by a guy who outweights you and is pressing you and you have room to move unless you make room, and you can envision that zone.... in a different art! People find it in different activities, some people look for increased pressure to maintain it within, but I have a hunch everyone is still experiencing that same state of being.
Great post Dan, thanks. It's these, quoted in other people's, that made me take you off my ignore list two years ago
Good decision that was. Have a great evening.