©™ 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
All Rights Reserved
Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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June 26, 2005

"In sports, time exists.
In the martial arts there is only the present."

Zen Master Taisen Deshimaru

As the schools close for the summer, here is something to reflect on. The quote above is part of a long discourse by Master Deshimaru, describing the difference between practising a martial art as a sport and as true budo.

In my previous e-reflection, I explained the symbols of the triangle, circle and square as fundamental Aikido principles of entering, blending and controlling. Its application of "Receiving", "Responding" and "Resolving" or as O Sensei says; taking the "initiative", "unifying" and "forming" a resolution, is centred in the context of the moment in one swift motion - not a series of three separate motions. The purest form of this blending-of-energies occurs in the emptiness of the present NOW.

A sport prepares the person for a pre-arranged event. Within the event, time exists within which contenders attempt to out manoeuvre each other while beating the clock - resulting in a winner and a loser. When the event ends, what has been prepared for is over for the sports-person.

In budo, it is never over. There is no rest. And there are no winners nor losers - only the self. Vigilance is kept at every moment in the "contest" of daily life.

Martial training as budo moulds character, behaviour, technique, discipline and concentration in self-mastery to live in constant conscious awareness of each precious moment - even during rest and recreation. These come together at that moment of "no-thought," when mind (intuition), body and technique responds instantly without thinking; producing the appropriate response in the flash of a second - which may mean life or death.

The paradox in martial training, in diligently practising with no thought of reward, is in gaining everything at the most critical moment.

In harmony
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright June 2005: Rafael Oei)

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©™ 2003 - 2005: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : All Rights Reserved