O Sensei’s Calligraphy

On June 1st I caught the Saturday morning classes of a weekend seminar at Sophia University led by Robert Frager Shihan, a direct student of O Sensei.  The two hours that I spent there was very lucrative.  Sensei Frager is an energetic, joyful and very knowledgeable Aikido teacher and it was a sincere honor to…

3 times a week, no more, no less

I started back at the gym on May 7th with my mantra “3 times a week, no more no less” and I completed 4 weeks without breaking my schedule. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. No more, no less. Now I’m at the end of the month and I’m going to start a new mantra: “Just a little…

In Chinese, the word for crisis is…

…well, crisis.  There is an interesting article here that points out the common misconception we’ve had in our time that the Chinese characters for crisis is “danger and opportunity”.  It’s just crisis.  How could it not be. Crisis is crisis.  I imagine that this would be the same in French, Arabic, English, Ethiopian and Chinese….

How the Sea Changed my Aikido

It seems funny to write this.  Not because I don’t feel a fundamental shift but for the fact that it was something so simple. So, let me give some context.  I’ve never spent a lot of time in water that wasn’t a pool or not fresh water.  I remember swimming in Hawaii and Florida when…

Starting my meditation practice

I’m finding that my meditation practice is as important as any work out. I wanted to share my thoughts about it and what some of what it’s doing for me. First, thank you to @leobabauta, a member of fitocracy.com for posting an excellent article on how to meditate: http://zenhabits.net/meditate/ I have made a gentle practice…

Interesting Variation on “Chop Wood Carry Water”

I recently looked through my posts and noticed that I had a draft post that i started writing in 2009, shortly after my friend Linda Eskin took her 6th kyu test (LInda is now 2nd kyu).  It had to do with a conversation between her and myself.  The context was right after her test and…

You can be attached for as long as you choose to be…

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the last two hours of a seminar given by Dan Messisco Sensei. Dan Messisco has a very unique, flowing and relaxed style of Aikido and was wonderful to watch and be instructed by.  There were a lot of things that he said at the seminar but…

Aiki

“The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways.”   – Eckhart Tolle I wanted to spend some time thinking about my shodan test today.  Early this morning I went and grabbed some breakfast…

The First Precept

On a Saturday morning Aikido class a few years ago, Sensei brought in the book by Gichin Funakoshi, “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate”.  He read us the first precept in full: “karate-do begins and ends with rei” “Along with judo and kendo, karate-do is a representative Japanese martial art.  And with it’s fellow martial…

Training Away From Home

When I tested for 1st Kyu a couple of years ago, I was presented with an interesting problem.  My friend, Mentor and uke, Sasun, that I selected to be my test partner, could not participate.  His back went out.  So rather than testing with him and benefiting from the familiarity I built up through the…