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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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April 4, 2012

"Rather than focus on what is done;
focus on what remains to be done."


As children, I am sure at times we focused on just what is personally relevant to be completed, homework or chores, ensuring that it is done and no more. Then we are off to do our own thing - watching television, listening to a record, reading a comic, going to the playground, or playing with the neighbourhood children. Of course for the present generation, it is more a case of children playing their game boxes, online games, Internet surfing, and e-socialising.

Achievements are well and good, the satisfaction of a job well done. However, being satisfied and content only on what has been accomplished does not sometimes highlight what else requires your attention to move forward. What often happens on just completing objectives of personal preferences puts up blinders that cause us to race pass and ignore other little details around us that may also need tending to. It takes effort to switch perspectives to observe what else remains to be done. That is the value-add that sets leaders, initiators, and innovators apart from others.

One of the basic competencies that Aikidoka practice to acquire a fluency in is turning with accuracy. After all, practicing to cover a 360 degree perspective will help us in dire situations like being faced with multiple attackers. These movements include turning away (Tenkan), entering (Irimi), and sliding and turning (tenshin) away from an attacking force. These are sometimes difficult to assimilate because the natural tendency when attacked is to pull away, pull back, push, block, clash with, or freeze. Like a dervish, it actually is exhilarating to practice whirling.

Maintaining an upright posture, centred and flexible while turning rapidly is akin to remaining calm, composed and alert when faced with a problem or contradiction in one's life; being the eye of the storm while everything else is in flux. Having an upright posture while turning also helps in generating energy flow, internal circulation, and allows you to easily survey the surroundings; looking to see what other dangers lie in wait, and what else needs to be taken care of.

Just remember while turning, to pivot on the ball of the foot and to keep the foot you are turning on aligned with the rest of the leg. One way to gauge this is ensuring that the toes of that foot are somewhat aligned with the knee. Not being vigilant in this may cause an injury to your knee, or ankle, in the long run.

During this Easter, we are reminded of rising on to new life after the completion of another; that each new day brings with it an opportunity for new beginnings. What already is, IS, and is done. Look up, look forward, and look around: what else is there that remains to be done?

Have a most meaningful and blessed Easter!

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

(© Copyright April 2012: Rafael Oei)

PS: just a reminder that there will be no classes over the Easter weekend. See you the following week.

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