Aikido - still giving answers after 10 years

I've just got back from an aikdo seminar at Bristol. I've been struck again at the depth of understanding that I get from the practice.

O Sensei, the founder of aikido, had an experience when meditating that the whole universe was turning around him - he was at the still centre. His wish to share this experience was one of the drivers for founding the new art of aikido. Aikido means 'way of harmony of the spirit'. I think the only way of understanding what it is to take part and I certainly find that participation gives me new ways of looking at life.

One of the great teaching of aikido is that  'The highest ways of the warrior is the way of love'. It's aim is to bring harmony to the whole human family. It might seem strange to study a martial art to find this at the heart of it!

Conscious embodiment is a different way of understanding these same princinples. Instead of very fast attacks we can lengthen the experience of that incoming energy or emotion. By doing this it gives us a chance to know our own reactions. I don't think we're very intelligent under stress - we tend to have only one or two characteristic ways of handing it. Once we start to recognise our patterns we can then work with ourselves when stress hits - 'Oh - there it is again - I'm stressed' - by realising that, then we have an opportunity to do something different. If we don't realise we are stressed we'll just keep enacting our stress pattern.

Let's do something different instead!

Come along to a taster session sometime and experience some of this for yourself.