There are two motto’s at Pure Aikido….and they are also my personal motto’s, (no surprise there). Always take
1. “The path of least resistance” and
2. Minimum effort for maximum effect.
Don’t oppose strength but redirect. Don’t clash intellectually and personally, strive to harmonise the situation. Struggle against the instinct for conflict. Change negative energy into positive. Improve yourself everyday and follow your dreams. Be strong enough to oppose conflict and wise enough to avoid it!
I have always felt the phenomena of too many people trying to teach is a cancer on the martial arts. In class obviously beginners need assistance but this should quickly be supplanted by self reliance. Don’t rely on others to teach you. general class is not for private tuition. It is for training. As for those who spend more time teaching and talking than hard training…..just train. Many times people are wasting time on the matt trying to teach someone and often they are wrong or neglecting the hard work of training themselves. Ones primary mission is to train. Don’t self appoint teaching roles to yourself. I will do that. Try and improve everyday in Keiko. That is your mission. Talking doesn’t teach like doing does. Also the recipient of this dubious wisdom is often not receptive or open to it (sometimes rightly).
Reflect on yourself.
Everyday in class i teach and give information on how to do Aikido correctly. Focus on this. Don’t add layers of dubious info. Students should focus on what I am saying when demonstrating and try to do that. That is what a general class is. Focus on your goals. reflect on yourself. be self reliant. Take responsibility for your own keiko and don’t externalise.
In our basic training we focus on how to apply basic Aikido in real world scenarios and environments. That is not to say we are not interested in the spiritual dimension of Aikido, we are. It just means that the insights of Aikido are gained from expertise in martial art application. Character is built on the border between life and death. It has been said that “the way of the samurai is death”. That is not a depressing negative implication it is just an understanding and familiarity with the nature of combat and our ultimate demise.
At Pure Aikido spiritual training is focused by real self defence skill. Ki training is an extension of that. Real combat knowledge makes sure we don’t float off to some ki netherworld that has no basis in reality. All O’sensei’s amazing ability came from being an exert in applying his Budo. His Ki training was based on that and the teachings of Omoto. Seemingly magical things become logical when you know how to do them.
The higher levels of Aikido, like being able to diffuse killing intention and turn it around or diffusing killing intention and transforming it into something positive are derived from these skills. The more esoteric aspects of Aikido are also. The message is train basics well. Be nurturing to your training partners especially those less able than you, and learn to fight so that turning the other cheek is not fear but an expression of ability and confidence and also an understanding of consequence and what combat really means in its extremes.
Training is fun and positive but also serious.
By Marcus Encel