A PATH TO THE ART OF PEACE
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Brown Belt Essay By Max Bishop

June 30, 2020 @ 2:48 am
by Flo Li
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Mindfulness from dojo to the outside world Zanshin: a state of awareness, of relaxed alertness, in Japanese martial arts   Zanshin doesn’t just help with mindfulness in your aikido movements, it is that. Zanshin is a state of achieving full awareness of everything that is around you, but without having to spend a lot of energy by focusing on it. “your awareness is brought into a direct knowing of experience. This is not just a momentary knowing, but rather it is a knowing that is sustained moment by moment.” Stated The Mindfulness of Aikido: 5 Characteristics of “ZANSHIN”. and, “Zanshin [...]

Falling down and getting back up

June 1, 2020 @ 5:15 am
by Flo Li
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Falling down and getting back up A case study of the effect of the basic back breakfall of Yoshinkan Aikido on the psychosomatic development of children Dojo: Aikido Mugenjuku in Kyoto Reg. number: K-SB-16178 Name: Peter Andersen Date: 2020/5/15 Number of characters: 13.670   Introduction As one learns to stand on two legs, the head and vital organs are lifted further from the ground, making it more dangerous to fall. At the same time the base of support is reduced from four wide points to two narrow ones. All of this combines into the human preferred way of transportation, with a small base [...]

Aikido for Law Enforcement

May 13, 2020 @ 7:33 pm
by Flo Li
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A few years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting a sensei from the east coast who worked as an undercover air marshal. The stories he gifted us made each one listening secretly wishing they could have witnessed first hand. Derek Sensei from London told us about his irimi nage take down of a large bodybuilder while working as a club bouncer that was equally incredible. This week, we want to share with you one of our friends Yannick sensei from Canada describing using aikido on the job as a police officer. "I miss aikido. But I still get to [...]

Harmony resides in Silence

April 21, 2020 @ 5:07 pm
by Flo Li
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I asked the aikido kids Saturday during ZOOM if they remember the time we did silent sitting during a Saturday morning class two-month ago. Normally, classes are smaller on the weekend in person, so it was a luxury for us to experience something different with the children. The featured photo was captured that day - February 15, 2020. So, yesterday, during ZOOM class, I asked several of the kids if they remember the feeling during silent sitting that day. Without the need to recall or any hesitation, they answered yes. They remember when the moment noise subsided, breathing slowed down, the buzz in the [...]

Huy’s Nidan Essay

July 3, 2019 @ 5:15 am
by Flo Li
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Question: As you have worked to give up using strength, what have you learned about yourself?  How can this apply to others, including children? There was an interesting show on National Geographic the other day on Alpha Animals. It featured two fierce buffalos competing to lead the herd. They were both vigorous and magnificent beasts who stood out from the rest of the herd. They kept on locking horns and crashing heads until one of the buffalos proved itself to be stronger, more perseverant, the rightful leader of the herd; the other turned tail, conceded defeat and returned to be another [...]

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, [...]