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March 06, 2015

”Henshitsu”/Changing

The content of this blog is for Instructors or people in a position to lead members or other people.

 

(Mind) and (Ki) both have no shape or form, which is why we can’t see these with our eyes. Because both are invisible, it is easy to forget their existence.

 

Quantity vs. Quality:

When there are changes in the quantity of something, it is easy to perceive. However, if there are changes in the quality of something, it is usually very difficult to realize it. For example: we can see the difference in quantity when we watch someone who practices a lot, but the quality of practice is usually very difficult to tell at first glance.

 

Being able to maintain the quality of practice/training is one of the important roles for an instructor, and to do this, he or she needs to focus on something that has no shape or form.

 

In life, there are many important things that have no visible form.

 

For example: having a trust relationship with someone, or feeling love, thankfulness, appreciation as well as respect for someone. Ambition and aspiration are also examples of something of importance having no visible form.

 

Whenever we do, or react to, something, it is very important to realize and remember the purpose or reason for doing it, and it is essential to continue without changing and forgetting the original purpose or reason no matter what happens.

 

Usually, “the purpose or reason” why we do something has no visible shape. This is why it is very easy to lose sight and forget, and sometimes we even change the original purpose and reason without actually realizing it.

 

When “the purpose” changes it is called “Henshitsu” which means changing/altering the real purpose. An example is listed below.

 

One of the purposes of practicing Ki Breathing is to get the feeling of a Calm Mind and continue to maintain it. Let’s say you decide to practice for 30 minutes every day. Maybe the practice starts really well, but as the practice continues it is usually very easy for some people to forget and change the real purpose that they began with, and then they start trying to focus on just keeping “30 minutes of Ki Breathing”. Because they try to force themselves to do 30 minutes of Ki Breathing, they start getting frustrated at the same time. This does not fulfill any point.

 

Another example is going regularly for Aikido practice: One of the main purposes of going for training is to learn and acquire the correct feeling while practicing. While coming regularly for classes some members forget the real purpose or reason why they come for training in the first place. Their main purpose changes and simply coming regularly for classes becomes their main purpose, instead of what they want to learn and acquire from training.

 

To continue practicing without remembering the original purpose of our practicing, will only hinder and stop our progress and growth. People who continue to practice with the right mind set, always with their main purpose being the same, will always continue to progress.

 

If the main purpose of learning changes, trying to achieve and acquire the skills we set out to achieve becomes unattainable.

 

If a company loses sight of its “main purpose”, then it will eventually fail. If the human resources lose sight of their “main purpose” then they will become unproductive and serve no purpose.

 

“Main Objectives” are easily changed and forgotten. This is why leaders and Instructors who are in a position to lead and teach people should always make sure that they remind their students/staffs the main purpose of their practice or work. By constantly repeating and reminding their members/staffs of their main purpose of training and work, it is less likely that members and staffs will change their main objective and purpose of training or working.

 

For leaders who are running or managing companies, it is important to always repeat the “main purpose/objective” of the company to staff. If instructing, instructors should always remind students the main purpose of their practice and training.

 

In order for us to always make sure that “Our main purpose” of performing/training remains the same, let us always check and re-confirm this purpose.  

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New Year Greetings

I hope everyone was able to enjoy the beautiful holiday season and the start of the New Year.

 

My role and purpose as Kaicho (President) of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai is 1) To spread the teachings of Ki Aikido, 2) To train and help Instructors progress and teach well, 3) Contribute to the Community.

 

As of January 2015, there are more than 400 Dojos and active classes as well as 300 Instructors teaching in Japan.

 

Japanese instructors nationwide participate and attend instructor Seminars held in various venues to further their learning and understanding of Ki Principles, and to improve on Aikido art techniques. We are hoping this will improve the teaching skills of our Instructors. In addition, Risk Management Seminars are also held to reduce the rate of Injuries and Risk so that Dojos / Aikido classes can be managed well for members to be able to practice and attend classes safely.

 

The most important thing we ask from our Instructors is not based on what Dan they have obtained or how much teaching experience they have, but that only those who continue learning and training can be authorized to continue teaching.

 

Of course having knowledge on Aikido techniques is important, but personality and communication skills are also important qualities Instructors must have when teaching and leading classes in Dojos.

 

This is why in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai we believe that Instructor Seminars are very important for Instructors and this is also when I have a chance to directly communicate and teach Instructors around Japan.

 

I will continue to further my teachings and gather more chances to teach and continue working on the development of these Instructors this year as well.

 

Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai has also received requests for classes and workshops from Elementary and Junior High Schools. We will answer these requests by sending more Instructors on a volunteer basis to help build up the following programs:

 

1) Correct attitude/ posture and manners

2) Communication with Oneness of Mind and Body

3) Being able to perceive and deal with difficult/dangerous situations

 

These are some of the main themes that I will be teaching at workshops and seminars.

 

Most schools have been hoping for these workshop experiences to encourage their students to be able to learn and grow up with these valuable lessons to apply to their lives. That is why many of the schools ask us to repeat this same workshop every year.

 

From this year, we have also been able to acquire some sponsorship from companies who are willing to work together with us to sponsor these workshops and send more Instructors to teach not only at schools but also for community services and welfare homes to help people with learning disabilities as well as the elderly.

 

We will also do our best to play a bigger part in contributing more to the community this year.

 

We were able to start the New Year well with plus Ki with a successful Kagami Biraki Ceremony training session (the first Aikido training seminar of the year) which was held on Sunday, the 4th of January at Tochigi HQ Dojo.

 

To all our members, thank you very much and let us continue to support and help one another, yoro shiku onegai mōshiagemasu.

 

 

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March 02, 2015

Unification during Movement and Action

Unification during Movement and Action 

Getting the feeling of a posture with Coordination of Mind and body is the basics of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido practice.

Natural posture has natural stability, and by checking stability in our posture, we can know whether we coordinate Mind and Body or not.

In the Ki Sayings that Koichi Tohei Sensei put together, there is a paragraph that explains this.

From the Ki Sayings no.12: 

 It is easier to coordinate mind and body when we are sitting or standing still than when in motion. But true unification means to maintain the coordination of mind and body even when we are moving.

 Sei chu no toitsu means – To always maintain the Coordination of Mind and Body while sitting or standing still (no movements).

Dou chu no toitsu means – To always maintain the Coordination of Mind and Body while in motion (during movements).

While sitting, standing or even just moving a little, it is quite easy to lose the Coordination of our Mind and Body which is why training is very important to help us maintain the Coordination of Mind and Body especially during intense and big movements.

A specific training method for maintaining Coordination of Mind and Body is the Ki Development Exercises, which are basic movements that are also included in Aikido techniques.

To some extent, it is first necessary to be able to maintain the Coordination of Mind and Body while sitting or standing (no motions). Once we get this feeling we can apply it to the exercises so as to be able to practice maintaining Coordination of Mind and Body while moving (during motion).

Another most likely way that we may lose our Coordination of Mind and Body is when we are practicing with a partner. When we are able to maintain Coordination of Mind and Body during exercises (practicing exercises by oneself, without a partner), then we should start to apply this feeling of Coordination of Mind and Body to Aikido techniques when we practice with a partner.

This way of step by step practice helps us ensure and understand clearly the feeling of maintaining Coordination of Mind and Body.

I remember a conversation from a few years ago with Mr Tatsuro Hirooka, a professional Baseball Player.

During Mr Hirooka’s professional playing days, he was taught the Ki Development Exercises by Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei. At the time, he thought that the Ki Development Exercises were the basic exercises for Aikido training.

It was after gaining some more experience as a baseball player that he realized that movements in baseball had close similarities to the fundamental basic movements that he had learned from the Ki Development Exercises in the past.

He then told me that he would like to re-learn the Ki Development Exercises again which I then proceeded to explain to him.

As I am an amateur at Baseball, I did not know how to use one’s body in Baseball, but as I was explaining the Ki Development Exercises to Mr. Hirooka I realized, through his understandings and ideas, how to apply the fundamentals of Ki Development Exercises to Baseball Players as well.

It was through this experience that I was able to learn more in depth the importance of Ki Development Exercises by explaining and teaching him.

It happened also for other Martial Arts, Sports, Music as well as Cultural Arts. By explaining to people who specialized in these fields, I was forced to look at each person and how they moved in their specialized field carefully and explain accordingly so that they could understand and apply it to their arts or sports career.

We realized that Ki principles, as well as Ki development exercises, are the basic foundation and can be applied to any movements.

In daily life, it is usually easy to keep Coordination of Mind and Body alone in quiet place. But it is important to also keep the same feeling even during hectic schedules and situations.

Ki Development Exercises is the access point to experiencing and understanding Unification during Movement and Action.

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