Aikido in Daily Life: March 2019

We come to our dojo to train so that we’re better able to apply the principles of aikido in our daily lives…

Randori… or “one damn thing after another”… but in an optimistic way!

Last month, Aikido Olympia held Kangeiko, the annual winter intensive training week. All that week a group of dedicated students met from 5:30 to 6:15 each morning for a vigorous practice. This year, the vigorous practice focused on randori. Randori is a more advanced Aikido practice where one nage (thrower) is faced with multiple uke (attackers). For most people learning randori, it’s an intimidating and intense experience.

Like Randori, life is a series of opportunities that come at us quickly and with real energy and real risk. There is also real work that requires intention and focus as we complete each necessary task. Success in all of this could be viewed from a number of different perspectives but from an Aikido perspective, always being engaged in the thing we’re doing now and always being excited to do the next thing as it comes at us, is probably pretty close.

Back in our regular lives outside of the dojo, we all have multiple commitments, obligations, deadlines, and tasks that we must attend to. Some of us will compartmentalize these things in our mind by grouping certain activities as professional activities, daily activities, family activities, aikido practice, etc. Some of us will work to prioritize and organize all of the things we have to do by making lists and calendars, a couple of us might read a couple of the many books on how to get more done and how to be more productive. While there is value in any of these approaches, we must eventually dive in and start getting the work done – and usually getting it done to a standard. 

In our Aikido practice, Randori is a training tool that we use to overcome the natural fear and hesitation in choosing what needs to be done first, second, or fifty-third and using our natural intuition to prioritize what we’re doing in a way that creates a flow. We also use Randori as a way to build our self-efficacy in moving from one activity to the next while being centered, present, and mindful as we do each activity completely. Like everything worth doing, it takes practice, persistence, and a fair amount of self-compassion.

By Nate Weed


Due to weather conditions that will make it difficult if not impossible to get to downtown Olympia on Monday, February 11th, at 5:30 in the morning, Aikido Olympia is postponing Kangeiko until the week of February 18th.

Kangeiko is “cold weather training”. At Aikido Olympia, this is an annual event that provides the opportunity to wake up earlier than some of us think is normal, to accept the world around us even if it’s cold and rainy, to remain undistracted by the feeling of our bare feet on the freezing cold mats, and to practice vigorously before we begin our day. Kangeiko elevates our own practices, nourishes the kiai of our dojo, and hopefully helps us develop greater perspective- “If I can participate in Kangeiko and enjoy it, then what else am I capable of doing?” Kangeiko will be held Monday, February 18th through Friday, February 22nd, we will meet at the dojo from 5:30 to 6:15 in the morning for these classes. 

By Nate Weed