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September 17, 2008

Put yourself in the place of your opponent

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this 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.


"Put yourself in the place of your opponent"

There is a series of principles which is fundamental to Ki-Aikido practice. This series is called “The five principles of Aikido with mind and body unified”
 
Five principles of Aikido with mind and body unified:
  
1. Ki is extending
2. Know your opponent’s mind
3. Respect your opponent’s Ki
4. Put yourself in the place of your opponent
5. Perform with confidence

Our Ki is extending, therefore we can know another’s mind. We know another’s mind, therefore we can respect another’s Ki. We respect another’s Ki, therefore we can put ourselves in the place of another.  After that, we just perform with confidence.

If we practice this correctly, we can lead others.

In the dojo, we practice “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”. However, if you practice it only in your dojo, you cannot master it.

This is because we can practice in the dojo only a few hours each day. If you are busy businessman, you might be able to practice only a few hours a week or even a month. It is natural that we are away from the dojo much longer than we are practicing in the dojo. This means we come under much greater influence from the outside world.

To master Ki principles most effectively, we must practice in the dojo, of course. But we must also practice the Ki principles in our daily life. It is no use just to think “Put yourself in the place of your opponent.”  It is important to actually practice “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”.   

For example, when I hand money to a sales clerk at a cash register when I am shopping, I can hand over the money in such a way that the sales clerk finds it easy to count it up and can easily gather up the coins. When I observe others carefully, I notice that some people hand money to a sales clerk in a disorderly manner and the sales clerk has a hard time counting it.
If you do something to make it easier for others, this means to “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”.

In another example, at a casual restaurant, when a waiter removes dishes from the table, we can arrange the used dishes in such a way as to make it easier for the waiter to pick them up. (This might not be a good practice at an expensive restaurant.) When I observe others carefully, I notice that some people do not help a waiter and waiter has a hard time removing the dishes from the table. This is another case in which you can ““Put yourself in the place of your opponent”.

When I teach at the dojo, I can put myself in the place of the students, such as using a high enough volume and clear enough quality of voice, or when I use a writing board, making the letters large enough for easy reading, etc.  When I listen to lectures by others, sometimes it is difficult to hear clearly. In this case, it is also important to “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”.

When I review my daily life, I always try to do “Put myself in the place of my opponent”, but sometimes I am lacking in consideration. I am not perfect, but I take my daily life as practice. Therefore I find my deficiencies everyday, and then I have the opportunity to fix my deficiencies.

This is something that I really appreciate about this practice.

If you do practice “Put yourself in the place of your opponent” in your daily life, you can do it in your Aikido techniques. People who do not practice it in daily life, cannot master anything. Please practice it in your daily life.

What state of mind do you have when you “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”? Please discover this by doing this month’s practice and validation.

Below is this month’s practice and validation:

[Point of practice]

To help others in all communication in your daily life.
Use your words and actions to make things easier for others.

[Point of validation]

How others react to your help.
What state of mind are you in when you “Put yourself in the place of your opponent”?

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September 07, 2008

Sending Plus Ki

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this 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.


Sending Plus Ki

I recently taught the Ki principle to business managers at a seminar in Japan.

It is a five-part seminar taking place over a period of five months. At the final seminar of all five, they will have a camp that will last three days and two nights at Ki no Sato.
These managers from all over Japan always study very sincerely.

At the beginning, they don’t consult me because of diffidence. But in process of studying, building relationships of trust between participants and me, they start to talk to me in the following way, “Between you and me, sensei...”

“My staff doesn’t report to me.” “My staff doesn’t have positive attitude.” These are the most common consultations.

“Reporting, informing, and talking” are basic aspects of business.
Reports about bad things like accidents, trouble, or claims are particularly important, because the delay of reporting makes the matter worse.

The delay of good news matters little, however, the delay of a bad report absolutely matters. Disguising a bad report is the worst.

Therefore, it is a serious problem when managers cannot get reports from their staff. I think it is not surprising for managers to be disturbed by this. The staff of Ki Society H.Q. also trains in order to report smoothly.

In many cases, if the staff doesn’t report to the manager, the manager tries to blame their staff.

“Why don’t you make reports immediately?”
“Every time I tell you that your reports are very important!”
“I always keep the door of the president’s room open! Why don’t you come in?”

I can understand why they are reluctant. But in many cases, it is not the staff, but the managers who are responsible for this unwillingness.

If managers have a hard or somber face when their staff comes to report, they feel it difficult to report to their managers. Most of us would like to approach people who are sending plus Ki, and would move away from people sending minus Ki.

Therefore, we have to check our own state of mind first, before blaming our staff for not reporting. Especially we should check our own face in the mirror.

There is a great manager who practiced this right away after my teaching. He put a small mirror on his desk. He changed his habit by checking his face with the mirror before he talked with his staff.

He said, “I was so surprised when I looked at my face.” He was surprised to find that there were a few frown lines between his eyebrows. After he had changed this, he got more reports from his staff than before.

In addition to this, I heard that conversations with his family were increased. Probably he might have talked to his child with a stern look in the same way.

If you want to improve not only “reporting, informing, and talking” but also communications, you have to “send plus Ki” first. To send plus Ki means taking the matter positively, having plus thinking, using plus words, having a plus face and having a plus attitude.

This also applies to relations between parents and children, teachers and students. It is important not only for business managers but also parents and teachers to create a mood in which someone feels at ease to talk to them.

Sending plus Ki brings plus results. Sending minus Ki results in minus.

Below is this month’s practice and validation:

[Point of practice]

Check your face before a conversation.
See if you are sending plus Ki or not.
Talk with you partner while sending plus Ki.

[Point of validation]

Observe the change in how your partner responds to you.

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September 01, 2008

Control Yourself First

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this 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.


Control Yourself First

In Ki-Aikido training, we practice both technique and natural posture (posture with oneness of mind and body). 

In order to throw, we must lead our partner. This is Ki-Aikido. It is impossible to throw your partner if your posture is unstable.

To lead and throw your partner, your posture, that is your mind and body, needs to be stable first.

When we say “correct posture”, some people might imagine “stand straight and stiff”. But this is not correct posture. Correct posture means a natural posture.

Natural posture (posture with oneness of mind and body) is:

The most stable posture
The most comfortable posture
The most sustainable posture

When the above three requirements are in place, this is called “Natural posture”.

Before you control others, you must first control yourself.”  This is a fundamental principle of Ki-Aikido.

We can also relate this to our relationships in our daily life.

In daily life, we tend to try to change others, instead of changing ourselves. That is, we try to control others before controlling ourselves. If you do this, you will find that the minds of others resist, and we will not be able to change others.

For example, when your own shoes are dirty, if you tell someone else that his shoes are dirty, he will not listen your advice. “I do not want to hear that from you!”

If you see someone else’s shoes are dirty, and you want them to clean them up, first clean up your shoes. By demonstrating your willingness to take responsibility for your own condition, others become ready to accept advice from you. As a result, you can help others to change.

We experience this in our daily life. But we tend to forget this principle when we do Ki-Aikido practice.

We may have a selfish mind that says, “I want throw others” or “I want to control others”. Because of this mind, people try to throw others first, before controlling self. If you practice stable posture before throwing others, you can master self control.

Even if we practice Ki-Aikido, if we cannot use its principles in our daily life, we cannot say we practice Ki-Aikido. I use the phrase, “Throw in daily life”. This means I must change myself first in order to lead others in daily life and my work.

Of course, I do not actually throw people in this case. This process is the same as leading others in a Ki-Aikido technique. So, outside the Dojo, I “throw many people” everyday.

A manager or a leader has authority. Therefore, they tend to want to change others before changing themselves. If you have a position in which you influence others, it is important to “control oneself first”.

Below is this month’s practice and validation:

This month’s practice and validation is a little more difficult than usual. However, to practice this will bring big rewards. You can consider it a success if you succeed once in 10 tries. Once you experience success, you will be able to succeed more often.

Practically speaking, even if you change yourself first, others might not change at all. Even so, please continue the challenge of practice and validation. It is very important that you continue practice and validation.

[Point of practice]

Select anyone around you. Decide in what way you would like him or her to change. Then, before attempting to change them, decide to change yourself first.
This is not about changing others, but changing your self first.

[Point of validation]

Look at the result. Verify if others have changed or not.

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