I wish to thank Jun Akiyama for allowing me to become a member of AikiWeb. It was kind as I am not a practicing Aikidoka at the moment but I have been trained in a introductory capacity for a few months under Sensei Brad Shultz of Abundant Peace Dojo in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. Bear with me as you read this please.
I come from the wrong side of the tracks so to speak; (traumatic, famililess (sp), foundationless childhood); and after a lifetime (it seems...I am 41) of searching for inner peace through theology, intellectualism, philosophy, psychology and "medications", I recently came to the end of myself in 2009 and even contemplated the end.
One faces the Truth in that state and after a series of dreams and epiphanies based upon all my experiences and learning I realized that I was being selfish and lazy. Selfish in only thinking about "my" past, and lazy in not taking action to overcome my "issues".
I grew up in a redneck city before the age of the world-connecting internet and social awareness concerning bullying and self-esteem, and so I tried to "fit" in....it wasn't ever me though, as I am a hyper- sensitive individual with the need to express love in a healthy manner.
I have worked in labour intensive jobs with coarse individuals and I am physically strong for it. I trained in Kung-fu, Judo, Boxing and Kenjutsu at various times throughout my life...and only for a short while; trying to be a "tough guy" and fit in with the competitive egos.
It's just not me: hence the suffering. I love animals and children and I have an inordinate amount of empathy for those that are suffering; I've been there. I see and understand the causes and effects from my own experiences. I firmly believe that my cat Max that I had for 14 years kept me alive by having me continue to pay the rent and providing me a source of reciprocating love through dark years.
In my short time training in Aikido I have never met more gentle people and like-minded / hearted individuals in my life.
I am moving to Calgary shortly and intend to train at Masa Kokoro if they will have me.
I can't stand my ego anymore. I intend to go to school to study for work where I may find more "enlightened" peers.
I have been reading O' Sensei's quotes and they line up with what is in my heart. I still have the warrior spirit; I understand the definition of "Samurai". I need to find the calm necessary to give me courage to love without regard to popular opinion.
Thanks for reading...I know It will take alot of work; but Aikido is the vehicle for which I can find self-discovery and give back.
From what I understand, Aikido brings together human beings who desire a peaceful loving world REGARDLESS of personal beliefs.
I am grateful for the gift O'sensei has given the world and I will humbly respect the true spirit of Aikido.
I find I am overwhelmed by the material on Aikido so I would appreciate any advice for a beginner. Of course I keep in mind
O' Sensei's teachings when he says;
"Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path".
I feel honored to have lived in this world before O'Sensei was called home...I was born a year before. He truly is a national treasure, moreso a treasure of humanity. If ever there was a candidate for the Nobel Peace prize....(politicians?..who decides those things anyway?).