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November 23, 2006

Using the Subconscious

This is a story that I had heard while I was a student.

A master sword smith had accepted a new apprentice.
On the very first day, the sword smith showed the apprentice his very best sword.

Some people might say, “How could a novice understand that it is the best sword? He would probably not be able to tell whether it is good or bad.” This may be true, but none the less, day after day the sword smith showed the apprentice the sword.

As time went on, the apprentice became able to picture the sword even if he closed his eyes. After years of hard training, the apprentice eventually became another great master.

When we try to achieve something, we will evolve in the shape of our own imagining. If the shape is predictable, we will develop into that shape. If the shape is brilliant, then we will develop into that shape.
By imagining the very highest level for the beginning, we are able to create what is to become. The important thing is to feel and know the very best until it gets into your subconscious.
That is what the sword smith’s story tells us.

Now, what can be the best sword in our Ki-Aikido? That is the movement of Koichi Tohei Sensei. We are fortunate, because the treasured image of Tohei Sensei at the age of 49, titled “Aikido shijyouenbu”, is in the video “Souden(Ten No Maki).”

In the training hall where I teach, I always recommend that the students see this film. When we see the movement of Tohei Sensei again and again, it gets into our subconscious. Then, our the movement starts to become closer to Tohei Sensei’s.

If the instructors do not appreciate and recommend this, the movement of student will become inappropriate, or it will become closer to the instructor’s movement. If the student gains the good habits of the instructor, that is good, but usually they also gain some of the bad habits of the instructor.
When I watch the examinees in the dan examinations, I often find them performing with the bad habits of their instructors.
The essential point here is that you do your daily practice with the “best sword” in your subconscious.

From an instructor’s point of view, it is important to actually show the students. So I show my movements to my students many times. But do not be blind, as an instructor; know your limitations.
To those who would like to gain the deepest level of () Ki-Aikido movement, or for those who would like to give the best results in the dan examinations and Taigi Competition, I strongly recommend to watch Tohei Sensei’s movement again and again.

I shall explain the way to watch the movements in another article.

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November 08, 2006

World Camp - 2006

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World Camp 2006 was held at Ki no sato (Ki Society H.Q.) from October 25th (Wednesday) to 29th (Sunday). It was a five day seminar. I, Otsuka sensei, Kataoka sensei, and Sawai sensei, who are instructors of Headquarters, taught the seminar.

About 60 students attended; mainly instructors. Those attending were from the US, Russia, Australia and Europe. In addition to World Camp, we had a Japanese Instructors’ seminar on the weekend, adding 70 more to World Camp, making a total of 130 people practicing together in total.
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Koichi Tohei Sensei came to the very first class of the World Camp. He took the opportunity to shake hands with each participant.

The main practice place was the Tenshinkan Dojo. There are 520 tatami mats in this dojo. Because the dojo was so filled with participants, we felt we had no room to swing a cat when we practiced Ki-Aikido!
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Because all of the overseas members sacrifice their precious time, pay travel fees, seminar and accommodation fees, they tried to take in every word and not miss a thing. I was very touched by their earnest attitude.

Ki-Aikido school institute students also attended the world camp. They were also impressed by the overseas students’ earnest attitude.

We taught Ki principles (Mind moves body), posture with oneness of mind and body (posture with natural stability), Ki-Aikido techniques, Kengi, Jogi, Ki breathing, Kiatsu therapy and Oneness Rhythm Exercise.

After the seminar, participants returned home with full smiles. When we saw this, all the instructors of H.Q., staff and I had a very happy feeling.

I would like to share with you the contents of the seminar, however, the volume is so large that I am sorry I cannot include it all on my weblog. We will hold World camp once a year. If you are interested in World camp, please join us next year!

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