We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.
Family and friends are important to all of us. They connect us together into a social fabric and provide love and understanding. They can also provide some insightful opportunities to practice. For many people, it’s those who we care the most about who are also able to drive us the most nuts. Coming off of the holiday season, I’m sure that many of us have some perspectives on this. That said, Aikido is an art distinguished by its philosophy of extending positive energy, opening our hearts to those who challenge us, and protecting all involved as we are all one. Now, I’m not saying that you should apply yonkyo to those you care about whenever the inevitable interpersonal friction begins warming up. However, living the Aikido philosophy should provide a pretty good recipe for skillfully negotiating a political discussion with one’s mother-in-law, playfully convincing the teenage nephew to help do some dishes, getting the seven-year-olds to put on their coats and get ready to go without raising your voice, and having a centered and thoughtful New Year’s financial discussion with your spouse. These are all opportunities for us to practice applying the more philosophical components of Aikido in our daily lives. Even more importantly, these are opportunities to practice recognizing that these are opportunities!
Who knows, maybe next year, some of us will even be ready to respectfully inquire more deeply into our sibling’s innovative thoughts on parenting or our dad’s ideas on proper auto maintenance.
By Nate Weed