2015 Summer Camp Message

Hello Aikido Kokikai International. I hope everyone is well and practicing hard in preparation for Summer Camp. In Aikido Kokikai we practice katatori kokyunage. The technique is so simple: just put your arm around the neck and throw. After 3 months, 3 years or even 30 years, the technique looks the same if the partner doesn’t resist. However, if your partner resists, the results are very different.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Shuji
Maruyama

A student who has been practicing can’t throw a more experienced student. Take, for example, baking a cake. An elementary school student can make a cake that looks delicious but there is a big difference between that cake and one made by a professional pastry chief. Or consider a high school musical production of My Fair Lady and one performed on Broadway: big difference!

This is why Kokikai stresses quality. When we achieve our correct and most comfortable state (of mind and body), our quality will be greatly improved. Finding one’s correct state is not easy. I realized this a long time ago and I have continued to practice and grow year after year. Why was I able to realize this? It is because I am only 130 pounds! I can easily throw Todd, Dave, Jason all of whom are big, strong men who train a lot and have decades of experience in aikido. I can easily throw Glenn, who is even bigger than they are! I ask everyone to resist and yet, I can throw them so easily.

The most interesting aspect of Aikido Kokikai is the ability to fascinate people. If you can’t fascinate others, then Kokikai will get smaller and everyone will eventually leave and quit. I am always thinking how to fascinate people and keep them interested. The more Kokikai can fascinate, the more we can grow and not shrivel up like other dojo.
Many big people in the United States and Australia push my chest as hard as they can and I have never had problems. If my quality is poor or if I am stiff or uncomfortable, I would be in an unbelievable amount of pain… but this has never been the case! I can do this because I keep my one-point and keep the feeling of doing nothing. It is at this point that ki can come gushing out and I have achieved unification of mind and body. “Extending ki” is the most abstract and meaningless topic to explain. Many people say that they are using ki or extending ki but they are either way too stiff or too limp, like a jellyfish. This is really delicate because human beings are delicate.

Kokikai principles are so simple but to catch their essence is really difficult. For example, we all understand what it means to “relax” – we learn this in elementary school – but now, after 40 years, I understand what it means to relax. Correct feeling and to be relaxed are like fruit: it takes a long time to ripen. Having the correct map or guide is essential and I show you the correct path with ki-testing and correct and powerful throwing techniques against a resisting opponent. I live in the natural world and as I age, my body has changed and yet, I continue to be correct and prove to you that you, too, can become strong. A couple of days ago, TJ and Ayano from New York came to the dojo to Nagoya. TJ is big, young, strong and handsome (no connection to anything!) and yet, he is still so light for me to throw.

Please try to grow and challenge yourselves. Walking 1000 miles is a pretty far journey but all you need to do is take the first step. Little-by-little, step-by-step you can achieve your goal. From ancient times it has been said that “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so please try to grow during your whole life. By growing, you can have hope and dreams. Try hard and please show me your result at Summer Camp.

See you soon!

Sensei