A PATH TO THE ART OF PEACE
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Youth Black Belt Essay by Sebastien Tallet

September 23, 2018 @ 11:28 pm
by Flo Li
Outside of the dojo, I bring the Art of Peace with me as knowledge. I have never found myself in a situation that aikido was necessary but I do believe that it has helped in other ways. What I had learned mentally from aikido is what the most important lesson and what can be brought to everyday life would be what Aikido and the Art of Peace teaches your mind. Aikido is about connection to oneself and those nearby. It focused and integrated into training all the time. You learn how to build a stronger connection with your partner by [...]

Youth Black Belt Essay by Anush Rajan

September 23, 2018 @ 11:26 pm
by Flo Li
At the level of youth black belt, how do you bring the Art of Peace to life outside of the dojo? As O-Sensei once said, "​ To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace." ​As we all know (or now know), the martial art of Aikido is more peaceful than other martial arts, because of its gentle nature to defend oneself without hurting the opponent. Meanwhile, other martial arts, such as karate, have a much different approach to conflict. Thus, Aikido is sometimes referred to as the “Art of Peace”. [...]

My Relationship with Aikido by Lucia Evans

May 9, 2018 @ 8:10 pm
by Flo Li
My Relationship with Aikido (by Lucia Evans) Aikido meaning the Power of Harmony, of all beings, all things working together. I asked the Universe for something that would help me move myself forward powerfully. The answer came back loud and clear. Aikido…. You need to practice Aikido. So for my birthday present last year 2015, I signed up for Aikido. I had had some exposure having taken my Son to it for a couple years, but I never actually invested time to experience it for myself. Aikido has changed my life. Really truly, I am so lucky that I listened [...]

Sinking into the Present Moment by Flo Sensei

May 7, 2018 @ 8:22 pm
by Flo Li
Recently I’ve been increasingly busy with hosting aikido seminars, entertaining out-of-town guests, moving dojos, etc. I’m always on the go - from one activity to another - from one moment to another. For me, I have lived a life based on planning, on moving busily, on getting things done - and I’ve thrived in this place where I find life to be of value in the doing. On the one hand it is very useful as I can be highly effective, but it is a double-edged sword. When I’ve lived in this tendency for too long, it becomes a routine, [...]

Why do we test in aikido? (Shodan Essay by Richard Roberts)

October 5, 2017 @ 6:23 pm
by Flo Li
Shodan Essay: Why do we test in Aikido? What are the benefits and pitfalls of testing? So, at 4am the morning of my shodan test I awoke realizing I needed to re-compose my answer to this question. At 5am, I was typing, working on what might have been the fifth version I’d written in a week. You see, the night before, after finally mustering enough energy after work, I gave a practice talk (using what I then thought to be the final version of my essay) to Yvette and Ilana, my wife and daughter. After I’d finished, I, of course, [...]

What Aikido Means to Me

June 2, 2016 @ 5:01 am
by Flo Li
What Aikido, and Getting A Black Belt,  Means to Me by Noah, age 12, Encinitas Aikido, Youth Black Belt received on May 31, 2016 Aikido, to me, is a martial art unlike any other. It teaches me to be able to defend myself, but not hurt the person that I am defending myself from. To me, it means to be at peace, and to teach others. It teaches me to be a better person in the world. It also allows me to learn. But, what is the most important thing about Aikido, I think, is that I am being taught [...]

Aikido and Openness

May 9, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
by Flo Li
The following writing was a speech given by John Pergakes during his shodan exam. In aikido, we do not compare ourselves to one another, it is the importance of our inner development that matters the most. You and I might be very different in height, weight, physical abilities, emotional sensitivities, and even our pace of progress, yet in aikido we recognize each person is unique in our own journey, and the test of shodan is not only a memorization of techniques or the ability to make connections, but also it is a test to see how far we've come to [...]

合気道 Black Belt Essay by Aayush Shanmugam

December 15, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
by Flo Li
合気道 Black Belt Essay By: Aayush Shanmugam (Age 12) For getting a black belt one of the requirements is to write an essay and give a speech based on a question that sensei gave us. The questions that  were given  to me were “What is the spirit of Aiki - Why do we need to be humble - and How can you stay humble after earning your black belt?” The first part of my essay topic is “What is the spirit of Aiki?” Keeping in mind that aikido means “the way of harmony with the forces of nature,” To me, [...]

Black Belt Essay Question and Answer by Huy Nguyen

November 17, 2015 @ 12:23 am
by Flo Li
Huy Nguyen's Black Belt Test Essay Question Given by Kevin Pickard Sensei - "If Aikio is supposed to be natural, harmonious and effortless, why is it so difficult, exhausting and frustrating?" Answer: Let's analyze each aspect of Aikido: 1. Natural: Look around us, either in a macroscale like the universe and planets or a micro one like the ball of the pens, we'll find that things are natural in circular or spherical shapes. Circular/spherical objects are optimal for movements, for example, the wheels of the cars, the cogs of the watches, the turbines of the rockets, all are circular. Aikido [...]

A Goodbye Letter from Aiki-Youth Student Eeshan Zele

November 17, 2015 @ 12:09 am
by Flo Li
When I first started Aikido, I didn't know what it was. I thought it was like all the other martial arts. After training for about a year or so, I understood that unlike other martial arts, you have to use the other person's aggressive energy and turn it into your own peaceful energy. Kevin sensei and Flo sensei helped me understand this. All of you helped me to learn this and many other things like patience. Aikido helped me in a lot of ways. My grades are excellent whenever I'm training in aikido. It helped me be more focused, be [...]