Reflection on Practice of Aikido in Kinokawa and in General

“Kinokawa” is the name of our Aikido dojo. Loosely translated, Kinokawa means “River of Ki”. This name was chosen to honor a “vision” of Divine Light and Sound flowing from the
Void, all Creation into Being.

My formal training has been long and at times arduous. In part, this labor of love has made it possible for me to convey a deeply rooted understanding to those students who are ready and make themselves available. At present, this dojo in non-affiliated. That means that we set our own standards. Be assured that these standards are very high. To those whose actions argue that standards should be kept low to attract a wider audience I say this: The present and future of Aikido is in your hands. If you fail to train the leaders of tomorrow to the highest degree possible then you share responsibility for the destruction of this Vehicle that will certainly occur as succeeding generations of your students continue to lower their standards, refine their hype and increase their profits all in the name of “bringing Aikido to the world”, just as you have. Let me ask you this, who told you that you were entitled to a comfortable income from Aikido? Did the Founder say so? Buddha? Maybe Jesus or Lao Tsu? If money comes your way, fine. Otherwise, don’t compromise. A warrior is supposed to live on the razor’s edge, regardless of the culture he finds himself in. His ability and his natural inclination to do so sets him apart from other men who expend much time and effort seeking security, comfort and insulation from life. If you can’t “get close” to living on the razor’s edge then you are merely another merchant of pseudo-spiritual distraction, an egoicly bound celebrity, your stature in “the organization” and your claims to liniage and defacto authority not withstanding.

I digress. If you would be a student in this dojo, your whole-hearted participation is needed because you’ll be going through many changes, none of which I can drag you through. Be skeptical and guarded at first if this is your inclination, but pay attention to your heart’s yearning to awaken from this drama of separation and suffering, and yield as you are able to those who would serve this awakening. You may be thinking “I didn’t come here to change, I just want a BLACK BELT!” If this view is true of you than you are at the very least, naive, because there is a profound psychophysical transformation that must and will take place in you before you can function at that level in our company.

I expect new students to prepare for this work by accommodating qualities of:

  • Self-discipline
  • Gratitude
  • Courage
  • Patience
  • Perseverence
  • and, an unshakable RESPECT FOR THE TRUTH.

There are many motivations for beginning Aikido practice. Some people just want company. Others want exercise or self defense technique. Occasionally someone comes in search of Peace, or simply release from a vaguely uncomfortable feeling within the body, mind or heart. If any of these reasons are yours, then you should know that I understand and empathize with you.

On the other hand, If you are motivated by a need to have your present condition glamorized, to be certified ‘expert and important’, then you should go to someone who specializes in this scam to be appropriately exploited.

If you can’t get past your tendency to deceive and betray, then you’re not ready to see into your own heart and every jesture you make, every word you speak will have the stink of pretense about it. So, if you remain a cunning user of those around you and you wish to remain that way, avoid me.

If you are looking for a dojo where you can make “minimal effort” as others advertise, and still come out powerful, serene and wise, then you haven’t understood human nature or the Martial Arts. Whenever anyone makes something look easy it is the result of assiduous practice. Regardless of what style of technique you are learning, if your effort lacks spontaniety and intensity, than there is little possibility of deep transformation, and you are merely perfecting ritural, ever so seriously missing the Way. Study the sacred traditions and it will become obvious that this journey is not for the faint of heart, that it is often arduous and always uncompromising, offering no support or shelter for your lingering ego. No one can save you from the fire, but in our company you will be encouraged, you will be taught, you will be empowered and you will be loved.

  • The work of the Way is self-transcendence.
  • The frequency of practice is moment-to-moment.
  • The place of practice is the dojo, and the theatre of everyday life.

There are a few terms you will have to learn. The names of techniques are given in Japanese, since the Founder of Aikido lived and died in Japan, and the teachers who first popularized Aikido came from Japan. Most techniques have no name, or if they have a name it is a general one. Do the best you can with this situation Before long you’ll know many techniques, and if you practice hard for a long time, you’ll forget them too, as the mechanical mind you learned with is replaced by Spontaneous Easy Presence.