Being a force for good in the world is the aim of those who train in Aikido: the art of peace. How can a martial art increase peace in the world? It is the interdependence between training partners. No nage (nah-geh )without uke (oo-keh). Bringing energy, receiving and blending with it, and putting it out into the world for good. In Aikido, it looks like ending fights. Actually, when practiced well, it looks like preventing fights…. Sometimes it looks like “rondori” – multiple partners training together.
Peace. The “low level” peace of stopping, or not starting, a fight, the practice of which forms persons to be peace-hearted people. Peace requires strength, heart, courage, and diverse skills in the world.
Aikido derives from sword forms of martial arts. There is a lesson here for those of us whose art is the word.
Writing and speaking are art forms, like Aikido, that require interdependence between partners. Communication is a loop between two, or among more than two, people. Uke and Nage and Rondori…. The same concepts exist in the world of Aikido and in the world of words…. bringing energy, receiving and blending with it, putting it out into the world, sometimes with multiple people at a time.
Aikido is being an embodied force for good in the world. Writing and speaking provide the opportunity to be a voice for good in the world. A different kind of force for good in the world.
Masters of the sword honor their gift in the world by being careful to not cut people. Masters of the sword are careful when to use the sword… And how…. And where…. And why… And with whom.
Masters of the word honor their gift in the world by being careful not to cut people.
Being my kind of force for good — for peace — in the world is the combination of what words to use, where to use them, when to use them, how to use them, with whom to use them, and why.
I am the aspiring word master whose life has been formed and informed by many forces, including a swordmaster named Jeff Sensei, his teacher named George Ledyard Sensei, and their many students, one of whom is my beloved son and teacher Carson.