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July 07, 2010

Develop an eye

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to apply the Ki principle (mind moves the body) which is the fundamental of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido to our daily life.

It is not enough just to read, but it is important to positively practice the subject given each month. Learning through practice will be your lifelong asset.


Develop an eye

This time, the article is for instructors and members who train Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

Some time ago, there was a special TV program about a teen-aged girl who was working in a high-class Japanese-style restaurant. She had the desire to become a chef and have her own restaurant in the future. Therefore, she wanted to work in this high-class restaurant. However, at first, she was not able to get the job. Even so, she kept returning to the restaurant and repeating her desire to work, repeating anxiously, “I will work very hard at whatever you give me to do”.

Finally she was given an opportunity, and was permitted to work as a cleaner. She went earlier than any other workers every day and sought to do any type of work, of course including the cleaning job. And she learned more through each task she performed.

One day, her hard work caught the chief chef’s eye. He began to take her to the market with him every morning. He did not explain anything to her, but went around and chose ingredients to be used in the restaurant. She watched carefully and took notes. Gradually, she developed the eye to judge which ingredients were best. 

Later, the interviewer asked her on the TV program, “Why did you want to work in this restaurant in the first place?”

She replied,

“I wanted to develop my eye to judge what is first-class”.

“What is first-class” is, in this case, not only the ingredients, but also includes any other aspects such as plates, bowls, and services. What she tried to do at the beginning was to develop an eye. I was impressed that this teen-aged girl had such an idea.

Koichi Tohei Sensei’s book “Shinshin Toitsu Aikido” was a text book for training Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, first published in 1972. Recently, this book has been re-printed for those who do not have the original book. This new printing includes a DVD of Koichi Tohei Sensei’s Shinshin Toitsu Aikido performances when he was 49 years old. I recommend that everybody watch this film repeatedly.

Let us assume we are going to take a long journey in the future. If the goal is clear, we can proceed toward it step by step. However, if the goal is unclear, we do not know where to go and will get lost.

It is the same with the training of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido.

By watching repeatedly the DVD until Koichi Tohei Sensei’s every motion is seared into your memory, this will enter into your subconscious mind. In other words, in this way you will make your goal clear and you will get closer to the goal step by step in your daily training. Without this, you will not know where to go and get lost.

Sometimes I receive questions like,

“Is this not too high a level for beginners?”

However, this is not correct. Because you are the beginner, you should begin by seeing the very best one. It may be too late to see this after you become a senior.

This book (including the DVD) is valuable as historic material, and also the contents of the book and DVD relate directly to our daily training. “Without a clear purpose” or by “following your own self-satisfaction”, you can not master this training. I would like you to develop your own eye by studying this book and DVD.

Before beginning her long journey as a chef, the teen-aged girl made clear at the beginning that ______________. It has been several years since the TV program. I wonder how she is now?

It is very interesting.

[Subject]

    What phrase could be inserted in the underlined blank above? There are countless answers.

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