A Beginner’s Mind

While recovering from this weekend’s seminar with Demko Shihan, I reflected on how little I know about Aikido. In Zen Buddhism there is a concept called Shoshin or “Beginner’s Mind.” One goal of Zen practice is to cultivate Shoshin, even in advanced practice. Its application to Aikido is not an admission that you know nothing…

Who are the Core Students?

At the heart of any organization are the people that make it run. We often casually refer to these people as being a part of the Core team. But what does it really mean to be a part of the Core Team that makes an organization function? In our work lives, there are people you…

CodeYellow

In all aspects of our lives, it’s important that we care for our heads. It’s the origin of such phrases reminding us to keep our head “in the game” and “out of the clouds.” They’re good reminders of the importance of remaining focused on the task at hand. Most of the time, it’s for mundane…

Big Top Aikido

Recently, I took the family to the circus. It was a fun time and the feasts of athleticism are always impressive. About midway through the show the Tuniziani Troupe came out to dazzle the crowd with their flying trapeze act. They were using a net (which I always appreciate–no need for the “no net” acts).…

Aikido Proof Marks

When participating in an Aikido class, you should expect to be corrected a lot. It’s part of the learning process. Both training your body and muscle memory to do it right, and to train you to be humble in your practice of Aikido. A long time ago, I had a teacher that would tell us…

Practicing Aikido in a Throng

With the holiday season over, I want to relate a trick that I found useful for passing the time during shopping doldrums. Generally speaking, many of us will not experience close quarters combat with a lot of frequency. In order to learn more about how people move and behave in such scenarios, I’ve been finding…

Passport to Aikido

If you travel away from your home dojo at all, you should know that membership in the USAF has its benefits. Upon passing the 6th Kyu test, you are issued a Yukyusha book, which keeps track of your testing and training. It’s a very high quality book that even has a place for you to attach…

Bleach

White is uniformly considered a color that signifies cleanliness. Its one of the main reasons that a lot of chefs and waitstaff wear white. You might say that by wearing white, the waitstaff would be inviting all sorts of stains on themselves and you may be right. Yet, its real easy to clean them up…

Hustle

In the practice of Aikido, we often find ourselves concerned with respect for our fellow Aikidoka. This manifests itself in many ways, not the least of which is time. Our most limited resource is time; nothing can give us more and yet many lay claim to what time we have. In the dojo, we engage…