Aikido is LIFE
We asked why Payet sensei often tells us that “Aikido is Life”. Does training in aikido help us navigate life better? If so, in what ways?
Answer from Payet Shihan
Yes! “Aikido is Life” in the sense that training does not end at the dojo. Shioda Sensei often quoted the famous Zen master Dogen, “wherever you are and whatever you do – this is the best dojo.” The training of aikido gives us tools and means to learn and apply its principles in life. Physically, you learn the importance of good balance and a strong foundation. In aikido techniques, physical strength and brutal force is NEVER the way to a peaceful resolution, instead, you learn to surrender and practice non-resistance while following the path of Truth — to blend with an attack instead colliding, to relax into a movement instead of efforting. Mentally, through training, you will understand the power of cooperation. As we merge with an oncoming attack, willingly being one with your partner, we naturally let go the tendency to allow our ego to take advantage of the situation. In my years of aikido training around the world with many different friends, I see the diligent respect of these physical training principles can change the way you see the world around you, and it has the power to transform you into a more caring, kinder, and a more compassionate human being at home, work or any interactions you enter into. Each individual will find a unique way to link aikido training to his/her own life, above all, aikido is the letting go of your ego-based unconscious patterns through non-competitive, intuitive, deeply sensitive practice. In turn, your life will somehow flow more smoothly, lovingly, and magically. And you will merge with Life into a deeper sense of renewed inspiration.