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Old 01-02-2017, 10:49 AM   #2
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erikmenzel's Avatar
Dojo: Koshinkai Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 594
Re: Aikido and Health

Aikido has an effect on your well being on different levels.
For some people the most obvious one is that it is a form of physical exercise.

For me the benefits in Aikido however aren't just the obvious physical effects. For me connecting with other, being aware of what happens (both to myself as to my surroundings) makes me aware of how I am and what I need to pay attention to.

I know this sounds cryptic but it is hard to explain. I will try to explain. In 2000 I became seriously ill, and while it could not be proven to be a result of anti malaria medication my doctors and I believe it to be a mild form of brain damage due to the use of Lariam. It took me several years to recover, however with some permanent effects.

During my recovery training aikido kept me sane. Knowing there is a place where you can go and where you are welcome unconditionally can be very important. Doing the exercises and the techniques helped me stay in touch with my surrounding and my body. It is so easy to get locked into your head and wither.

My aikido is based around the idea that I have to feel what is going on. To extend myself and connect to things around me. I believe you have to be able to feel yourself to be able to feel others, and it is the necessity to feel myself that kept me centered while recovering.

Nowadays I am sure that the combination of medication and self awareness are the key factors for me being able to function on such a level that other people are oblivious to my constant headaches.

Aikido is not just a sport for me, aikido is a way of life, a way to be myself and a way to keep control of my well being by arming me against self pity and self loathing.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
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