I wrote this a few weeks ago on the plane to Hobart:
I am currently on a flight to Hobart where I will be attending an Aikido seminar and will have the opportunity to ‘touch the hand of the man who touched the hand of the man’.
Why am I going about touching men’s hands and who’s ‘the man’ I speak of?
In short Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba whom we call O’sensei which means ‘great teacher’. Ueshiba san sought to teach Aikido over four generations of students from 1921 through to 1969. Our teacher at the seminar is Koretoshi Maruyama who was one of O’Sensei’s live-in students during the last thirteen years of his life. Maruyama sensei founded Aikido Yuishinkai while spending ten years in a temple. It is worth our while as students of Aikido Yuishinkai to grab any opportunity we can to learn all we can from this man.
It is a little exciting and a little daunting as I am still green around the gills and so am prone to slapstick style moves that tend to bewilder the most patient of teachers. I know there are many very accomplished students attending this seminar so my fear is that I will be found out and exposed as a fraud. I am under no illusions that I will ever be as advanced as some of these people. I am 52 and with each new year another part of my body seems to tighten and develop the urge to, well, not move.
I am however a good listener so I intend to suck up every little bit of knowledge I can. Aikido is fortunately not just about technique and agility. At it’s root it is about the connection between mind and body. As a very wise man once said, “I am mind itself.” If I while I am in Hobart I can move one step closer to being able to connect my mind and body I will be content that the trip was worthwhile.
Hopefully I will return on Sunday standing upright with all body parts intact and with a much better understanding of the connection between my mind and this frustratingly ever aging body.
Back in Brisbane I am beyond pleased that I had the opportunity to attend the seminar and for some unexpected reasons. Yes I learned a great deal during Maruyama sensei’s classes and feel my Aikido is improved.
Beyond that I gained just as much from the time spent with some of the incredible people from my own dojo (place of training). I feel as though connecting with these people was important and will only serve to enrich my Aikido journey.