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July 10, 2007

U.S. National Chief Instructor Seminar

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I taught Ki and Ki-Aikido at the U.S. National Chief instructors’ seminar in Maryland, USA from June 21 (Thursday) to June 24 (Sunday), 2007. This seminar is for instructors of our branches in U.S. It is held once per year and each year in a different location. This is the most important seminar in the U.S., therefore, I go there and teach annually. Seminar was held in Oregon last year, and in Las Vegas two years ago.

This year’s host was Maryland Ki Society. The seminar took place in the town of Silver Spring which is 30 minutes from Washington DC by car. Our seminar location was in a US governmental building. Therefore, security was tight. The seminar place was a little crowded because of many participants, however, it was really nice place.

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The theme of the U.S. National seminar was “Keep one point”. I taught the difference between “keep one point” and “loose one point” thoroughly. I taught each participant() directly and let all participants experience the difference through Kokyu dosa, Kokyu nage, Nikyo, Sankyo, Koteoroshi, Shihonage and other techniques in the seminar.

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The point to master “Keep one point” is we must realize that we loose one point whenever our attention is in our head or whenever we get nervous. When you can realize this, you will be able to calm your mind in one point.

To master this, first, you watch the other person’s posture and movement to know if the person keeps one point or not. In the beginning, some participants could not see the difference, however, as the seminar progressed, they started to understand the difference. At last, they were able to understand the difference between Keep one point and loose one point for themselves.

Of course, It is always important to receive teaching from instructor in this practice. However, what is more important is that participants are able to realize the difference between keep one point and lose one point by themselves. The seminar is four days only. If the participants just correct their bad points when I am with them, they may not be able to continue to do so after I return to Japan. They will be able to practice the correct way continuously once they understand the difference between keep one point and loose one point.

Everyone was very happy when they realized this difference for themselves. Therefore, everyone was extending plus Ki. During the seminar, the dojo was full of plus Ki. We all studied seriously, but we kept smiling. In this way a four day seminar went very quickly for me, and also for the participants.

After the seminar, I had the opportunity to visit the Japanese Embassy. This was arranged by our members in U.S. I met Mr. Kato, who is the Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America. I talked with him about Ki-Aikido and U.S. National Seminar. Mr. Kato is a person of character. He was wonderful to talk with and I truly enjoyed meeting him. I was deeply impressed to know that people such as Mr. Kato look after Japan’s interest abroad.

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Next year, 2008, we will hold the World Ki-Aikido competition, which is held once in four years, in Japan. Therefore we will not have a U.S. National Seminar next year. We will hold the next U.S. National Seminar in Colorado, USA. the year after next (2009). The atmosphere of an overseas seminar is very different from a seminar in Japan. I hope many of the Japanese instructors will attend a U.S. seminar once.

Personally I could understand almost all of the English. Many U.S. instructors told me, “Your English gets the point across. It is wonderful.” You explain difficult things in simple words”. This is because of my training in my English school, “Aeon”. I really appreciate my English teacher and school.

I really appreciate from the heart members of Maryland Ki Society who were the hosts of the seminar, as well as all participants coming from U.S. and South America.

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July 05, 2007

Calming your breathing

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least a month.


Calming your breathing

I have the great opportunity to be instructing many professional athletes.

A common worry among them is not being able to have control over when they are in good condition and poor condition.

Whether they are in top or poor form is largely affected by the state of their minds and that state is constantly changing.

Even if they themselves intend to keep the same state of mind, when they are in poor shape the state of their mind has changed.

To correctly know the state of the mind is generally extremely difficult. This is because it changes before even they themselves notice it.

For this reason, I make sure that I teach them Ki Breathing..

Many people have never turned their attention to their breathing, but if their breathing becomes calm, then their mind also becomes calm.

The most important point is to always have calm breathing and to become able to notice when your breathing is rough.

However, it is difficult to notice that your breathing is rough when it is so. .
At such times we tense up and strain ourselves, before we become aware of what we are doing.

Should you notice that your breathing has indeed become rough, then the only thing for it is to do Ki breathing.

However, if you are not aware of it, then there is no way you can deal with it.

The reason many professional athletes deeply understand Ki breathing is surely because they compete in a tough environment where failure is not an option.

It is the same when performing a Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido technique.

In the latter part of July there will be the All Japan Ki Aikido Taigi Competition, and I would like all those who are planning to attend to read (the following) carefully.

Even though you intend to perform with a constant state of mind, there are times when your state of mind has actually changed and you cannot perform as you hope to.

The most extreme example of this is when you are tense and your body does not move as you wish it to.
In order to demonstrate your real ability in important situations, such as your performance, you should always calm your mind and perform with a constant state of mind.

The breath is a manifestation of the mind, so you should always undertake the discipline of calming your breathing and then do your performance in the same way; in a state where your breath is calm.
If you become able to do this, you will be very strong in important situations.

Everybody knows it is an important thing to “calm the mind.” The question is how to do so.
A concrete method for doing this is Ki breathing.

I give lectures and instruct at seminars for over three hundred days per year. If I am ‘merely’ giving them, then of course there will be times when I am in good or poor condition.

Thus I make sure I perform Ki Breathing before the instruction or lecture.

The times when my breath is rough and I cannot do Ki breathing well are, as I wrote previously, the times when I am stressed and straining.

If I give instruction in such a state, then the possibility of failure is high.

Therefore, by doing Ki breathing until my breathing becomes calm, I am able to take the lecture in a state where my mind has also become calm.

Then naturally enough I succeed.
I absolutely cannot neglect to do Ki breathing.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ki breathing methods, I would like you to urge you to read Koichi Tohei Sensei’s book ‘Ki Breathing(Ki no Kokyuho)' in Japanese. (This book has been translated and uploaded on this weblog)

After you have read this book, I would like you to turn your attention to your own breathing as your way of implementation and verification for this time.

Within one breath, there are bound to be many things to notice.

Let’s practice and validate the following:

[Things to practice]

Observe your own daily breathing

[Things to validate]

Find out at what times does your breathing become rough

Find out the reason why it became rough

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July 03, 2007

Ki Society's webpage Spanish version

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Ki-Aikido(Shinshin Toitsu Aikido) is learned by people in 22 countries, 50,000 students. We received many requests to open our website in Spanish. Therefore, we open our website in Spanish.

Ki Society webpage Spanish version

We create our website in Spanish with our overseas members' help. We really appreciate their help.

We also receive many requests to open this weblog in Spanish and Russian. We are considering to open them near future!

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