Getting Started in Aikido V

Okay, so you are paying dues, have a gi, and are regularly attending class. What next?

I could give you my answer, but I'm going to do better than that this time. I will quote Sensei Ross Robertson from Still Point Aikido. I recommend you click the following link and read the full article. It was titled "How to be a student of Aikido" and published on AikiWeb in October 2006.

Here are 3 quotes that spoke to me.
Love. Do it because you love it. Follow the path of aiki because of deep passion and desire. Train with joy if you can, though remember that love goes deeper than pleasure and joy. Love the movement. Love the idea, and the promise of aikido. Love your teacher, love your comrades (some of them, anyway). Love yourself.

Project the best. Go beyond an open mind. Train as if your sensei and your partners are doing exactly the right thing at the right time for your own, personal, optimal development. It can't possibly be true, of course, but training AS IF it were true fosters the state of eager awareness that is our goal. Train for life and death. Train as if the devil is on your tail, and just in reach is the Holy Grail.

Live it. Aikido is a way of life. Practice it every day. When I used to hear the great sensei say this, it always scared me. But now I realize they just mean that we should practice while driving, while working, while making love, while mowing the lawn or doing dishes. Small changes, rightly applied, have a huge effect. Isn't this what our techniques show? Five seconds of aiki movement, of perception, repeated hundreds of times a day -- this is our practice! How wonderful life is!

I want to thank Sensei Ross for his gracious permission to reprint his writing.

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