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Old 09-25-2014, 01:24 PM   #199
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: should you smoke marijuana on your aikido journey

Over the last few years I've followed this thread, and have probably read through every post. It's interesting how this topic really seems to press some buttons.

The world of Budo is no stranger to mind altering substances. There are many stories and examples of imbibing budoka, including a story told by Nishio where he describes, "One entire wall of a six tatami room in Hombu Dojo was used for shelves with alcohol stacked up to the ceiling."

When I trained in Denmark, I trained for a couple of years at Christiania Aikido, which was located in Christiania also known as "Free Town" in Copenhagen. It's classified as an "experiment" by the Danish government. In the early 70's people entered and began squatting in abandoned houses and military barracks and using the 80 acres of land to build a community and establish an autonomous neighborhood with its own government.

If you can imagine the Woodstock Festival being turned into a town — that's Christiania. A real time warp to the late 60's. It's a very popular place, with tourists passing through, concerts and festivals. The culture there is mostly one of sustainability and independence. There are a lot of artists and craftsman with private workshops and houses, and cafes and concert halls for the community. Many of the spaces are stunningly beautiful.

Real troublemakers, bikers, and hard drugs were evicted in the late 70's. Leaving behind a relatively safe and peaceful core community — although not without occasional flare ups of violence. As you can imagine, it's pretty hippy-dippy, and there are groups and classes for all kinds of things, including meditation, yoga, softer martial arts, etc..

There's also a pretty big hash culture there, similar to Amsterdam. Hash is openly sold at stands on the main street, called "Pusher Street," and it's openly smoked and enjoyed in cafes and bars.

Christiania Aikido training sessions — which were two hours long and held five days per week – often adjourned afterwards to one of the cafes for some relaxation and conversation. This would often include some coffee or tea or beer and a little something to eat, as well as the making and passing around of a hash joint or chillum.

The conversations were always stimulating and explorative, and of course many of them revolved around Aikido. It was a very intensive and immersive time. And I have fond memories of the friendships and training that were forged there.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 09-25-2014 at 01:31 PM.
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