A PATH TO THE ART OF PEACE
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Aikido Life

February 15, 2019 @ 12:45 am
by Flo Li
Comments are off for this post.
It was raining, traffic was light, and the lights by the on-ramp of the freeway had been turned off after the heavy morning commute. I was driving behind a fancy sports car heading down the on-ramp and suddenly the car stops right by the traffic light in front of me leaving me no time to break. Trying to break yet sliding on fresh rain, unable to stop in time, I swerved to the right lane and quickly passed by. No red traffic light, yet the car decided to stop. Somehow my base model CRV got out of the way effortlessly, [...]

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”. [...]

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, [...]

Happy 2018 from Jacques Payet Shihan, Mugenjuku Aikido

December 19, 2017 @ 1:27 am
by Flo Li
It is already the end of 2017. It is time for greetings, wishes, and resolutions! This year I've turned 60. In Japan, this is a special time when you take the opportunity to celebrate with family and friends, and thank them for their love and support during all those years. Reflecting on my life, I realized that most of what has happened would not have been possible without the extraordinary support of family, friends, and students from all over the world. Many times I thought of quitting aikido. Sometimes, taking an easier path in moments of great doubt seemed more [...]

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 [...]

Why Some Kids Try Harder and Some Kids Give Up

February 10, 2016 @ 10:56 pm
by Flo Li
Via Huffington Post by Tracy Cutchlow My toddler struggled to buckle the straps on her high chair. "Almost," she muttered as she tried again and again. "Almost," I agreed, trying not to hover. When she got it, I exclaimed, "You did it! It was hard, but you kept trying, and you did it. I'm so proud of you." The way I praised her effort took a little effort on my part. If I hadn't known better, I might have just said, "Clever girl!" (Or even "Here, let me help you with that.") What's so bad about that? Read on. Stanford [...]

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, [...]