The Nature of Practice

Very often during class I’ll have something to say, but I never plan to do so. I think that a demonstration, perhaps accompanied by spontaneous speech is always preferable to a logical presentation of prepared text when it comes to conveying the fine points.  I’m not with you on the mat right now, so you may not find any of this relevant, but I hope you will at least consider what I have to say.

If you practice with us and your effort is consistent and heartfelt, you will be come to notice that your life is being transformed. The engine powering this transformation is what Aikido calls Ki. It has many meanings, but what is relevant here is SPIRIT, experienced by you as CONSCIOUSNESS-ENERGY. Everything that is, is an articulation, a demonstration or expression of this spirit force.

Early in your practice you may have the feeling that you are working hard. Do so while you can. As the years go by you will discover that even when you’re in the middle of what looks to others to be a very complicated movement, you feel like you’re doing nothing at all, and it seems so simple to you. Your body’s movement will become graceful, perfectly in sync with what is appearing before you. Your mind will become calm and clear, even with a thousand things spinning around you.

In just a few years you will have learned all the basic techniques common to Aikido everywhere and you will feel comfortable getting on the mat with anyone, anywhere you go. More importantly, you will get to know yourself on a very deep level and will rediscover a child-like delight in living every day. This flowering of the heart and mind is profound and wonderful, precious beyond measure.

Aikido is a powerful martial art, not only because it presents a distillation of the best of several others, but because it is Ki-centered, and although Ki works through the body, it is independent of the body’s size and shape. Men and women, young and old can all practice.

All my best to you.
Michael Wirth Sensei