I began studying martial arts as a way to explore the mind-body connection, but I got tired of learning how to hit people. Through Aikido, I experience integrated mind-body metaphors that provide opportunities to improve myself, and through this I’ve learned how to improve my relationships with others.
Aikido is not a martial art, and wasn’t intended to be. Instead, it’s a martial way. It’s not a fighting art, although it comes from several. Aikido is about relationships. Its lessons are most valuable off the mat – I use it much more as a manager and a partner than when I’m in the dojo.
When I first joined the dojo, I trained in the early morning because of schedule conflicts with evening class. Now it’s a habit. After all these years, I still don’t like getting up for 6:30 am classes, but I love the way I feel after training at that hour – or any other.
Aikido offers pure spirit and endless pursuit of self-improvement, something that I feel Aikido can give to us all. It is always inspiring, and crosses all cultures.