XX's and OO's from Atlanta
This weekend we wrapped up a great seminar. While I could spend time talking about what we practiced, I want to instead focus on what I learned. To those you who you attended the seminar, thank you for your participation. To those of you who want to see what all the hubbub is about, we are working to find a home for Dan Harden in Atlanta and y'all are welcome.
I titled the thread XX's and OO's because internal training resonates with me and everyone knows XX's and OO's are a symbol of affection. I titled the thread XX's and OO's because internal training is a system of opposites. I titled the thread XX's and OO's because internal training is cross-body unity, rotation and revolution. I titled the thread XX's and OO's because internal training directs axial movement and circular arcs.
Most interesting of what I learned was the sense of community I felt. I titled the thread XX's and OO's because regardless of the art from which you come, internal training is an experiment of putting power into your body and applying that power to your movement. People with different interests and different backgrounds all get on the mat and figure out what role internal power plays in their interest... and we all suck because what we think is correct is not. To quote the seminar, "just because you think it's so, does not make it so."
"A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong." Tecumseh
At some point aikido is going to be forced to separate fact from fiction to survive as a martial art. At some point aikido is going to decide whether to remain "ai ki do" and remain dependent on a fixed number of things that work within a very small window of application. Or, we can return to "aiki do" and experience 10,000 endings from one beginning within all applications. "Aiki do" gives us opportunity to work with our sister arts to discover and recover how better to learn about this thing called "aiki". We have a strong heritage that does not compete with other martial arts, it is part of other arts. We should work hand-in-hand with the other arts to see how better we can all improve our cultural heritage.
A strong statement this weekend that echoed something that I heard previously, "You should be different. You should be that guy that people touch and say, 'Wow. You're different. You've got something to share'." Some day, I want to be that guy. I happen to believe that path lies through internal power. So it is incumbent upon me to find some one with the goods and figure out how to get there from here. I also need to find a supportive community in which I can find answers along the way.
Some of you have the goods, some of you think you have the goods [but do not], some of you want the goods and some of you don't care about the goods. Own your place; be proud of where you stand. You are given a limited time to practice aikido and contribute to the culture. If internal power is not your thing, find your thing. Elevate yourself with what you do, worry less about what others do if it is not your thing. Insecurity is reflected in derogation.
This thread is in the internal section, these are my words. It may be this thread dies at one post. But, just because we don't say so, doesn't mean it isn't so. And since this thread is more serious than I normally write, let me leave you with some humor...
I saw Dan levitate off the ground. And he beat up everyone's dad. And then he parted a giant pool of blood on the mat that was left from him killing a baby seal. And Atlanta snapped our cold streak while he was in town... because Dan is global warming.