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June 16, 2005

Do not control others first but control yourself first

"Do not attempt to control others but control your own mind and body." This is the essential principle when we study Ki-aikido. In Ki-Aikido, before thinking how to move others, we need to control our own mind and body.

Why?

Because it is impossible to lead others if your posture is not stable. This is not only referring to physical posture. If our mind is stable, then our body is also stable. Therefore, in order to maintain posture with stability, we need to control our mind, and hence our body.

Most beginners understand this reasoning, but in actual practice, they are filled with the idea of moving others, and completely forget to control their own mind and body. However, if they continue to practice, eventually they will be able to control their own mind and body.

We can change our own view regarding leading others, through Ki-Aikido practice. Sometimes, I notice myself trying to move others first. However, I know the Ki principles. Therefore, I can correct my way of thinking. For me, the Ki-aikido practice is important to check my mind regularly.

To apply this in your daily life, remember: "Before trying to change others, yourself change first."

You can see others, but you cannot see yourself directly. To know yourself, you need to use a mirror or ask others to let you know. Therefore, we need to be very careful about ourselves. Because we tend to forget about ourselves and accuse others.

These are some examples:

When others adopt a minus attitude, or say something negative to us. We tend to think, "Why is that person so minus?" However, sometimes our own attitude or expression is minus, so others adopt such an attitude. If you want to change others to plus, you must become plus first yourself.

It is same when others do not listen when you are talking. You may think, "Why does this person not listen?" But you yourself might not listen when others are speaking. If you want others to listen to you, you must listen to them first.

We tend to seek the cause of a problem outside of ourselves. In other words, "It is not my fault." If I quote from the above example, we might say, "Others who have a minus attitude are wrong." Or "Others who do not listen are wrong." We tend to do this because we cannot see our body directly by ourselves and our mind does not have shape.

However, if you start Ki-Aikido and specifically practice many techniques, you can change your viewpoint to changing yourself first. Koichi Tohei sensei said that it is useless if the Aikido technique is only good in dojo. This means that when you apply what you have learned through Ki-aikido not only to crisis prevention, but to your daily life as well, then what you have learned will have true meaning.

Let's study together.

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