We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives.
As our practice in Aikido deepens and we begin to embody the principles more easily, our attention is free to move from what our bodies, minds, and spirits are doing and begin to observe the whole of the situation more fully. In practice, this might allow us to better sense the other partners working near us, better sense our instructor watching us (always an opportunity to lose mind-body coordination for a second as we get stuck there), or better sense the kiai of the dojo as we practice. This represents some progress in our training. It also illuminates the model that we want to apply in other parts of our lives outside the dojo.
Whether we’re road-tripping with the family, going for a walk around Capitol Lake, riding a bicycle through Olympia traffic, grocery shopping, or taking out the garbage, we want to practice moving and being present in those movements. As we become better skilled at experiencing mind-body coordination in our daily lives, we free our attention to absorb more of the whole experience around us. This allows us to live more fully, and it forms the foundation for the most important aspect of self-defense – situational awareness. So as we leave the dojo after practice, we should commit to applying what we learned to the things we do each day.
By Nate Weed