©™ 2003 - 2012: OWH Industries - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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June 19, 2012

"Everyone has a spirit that can be refined,
a body that can be trained in some manner,
a suitable path to follow."

Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

Anyone can be taught. That has been my belief and approach as an academic, with music lessons, and with Aikido. I have never met a person who can't be taught. It is often a case of not wanting to be taught, or being unwilling to learn. In a young child learning occurs through the responses and reactions of the child's first teachers; the parents. This is why we are told how important the years 1 to 5 are in a child's life; and in laying a good solid foundation, parents have to be consciously aware of what they say and do (even being absent) in the child's presence during these years.

The beauty in both Aikido and music is in the way it transforms the student through discipline, persistence, and patience. It is not because I think Aikido is the best system of self-defence in the world. The best system will be different for each individual; and is one that enables the practitioner to self-realise, develop positive personal traits and skills, and improves one's health and well being. In Aikido, the nature of The Way incorporates movements that when given time balances the individual through improving one's internal neural and vascular circulation, engages the senses, and develops dexterity.

Like an iceberg revealing just a third of its mass on the ocean's surface, Aikido practice quietly addresses the unseen two-thirds as learning to harmonise with outward stimuli draws from a response that must emerge from the heart in order to effectively blend alongside any force with any conviction and certainty. In some ways this cannot be taught but must be experienced. This experience involves and engages etiquette, attitude, and discipline. Working from these qualities produces circumstances in daily life that enables the student to actively navigate through the intricacies of interrelations. Translated onto the Aikido dojo, this is why students are paired with each other to experience the techniques off one another. With each encounter, the student learns to respond calmly, accurately, and with confidence. It is in the quiet of one's mind that one is able to perceive the other. I have seen many students transformed over months and years of diligent practice.

The intention to practice a martial art, to be sure, is as varied as the sand on a beach. It may take a year, two years, a month, or a week. At some point if the student persists, the student realises to just BE through all the pandemonium. While practising to blend with the force/energy, don't try or think about how to be in harmony. With every breath, movement and attack, practice at BEING in harmony.

Actively practising at Being Still? That, in itself, is bliss. Isn't that worth sharing?

See you in the Dojo.

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

(© Copyright June 2012: Rafael Oei)

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