Aikido is a martial art, but it is more than a martial art. Aikido is a way to practice transforming aggression into connection. I practice aikido to find peace in my own heart, to recognize that when someone attacks me, I have a choice to respond with love and compassion. Such a response has the potential to transform not only the outcome of the situation at hand, but the heart of the aggressor.
In Aikido, we work in pairs, and one partner takes on the role of aggressor, and grabs or strikes. We call this person Uke. The other partner responds through compassionate redirection or neutralization of the attack, through a throw or gentle immobilization. We call this person Nage. In Aikido, Uke, the attacker, grabs or strikes to gift Nage the opportunity to confront the heart of contention within and meet aggression with kindness, compassion, and empathy. In this way, we train to engage with those who actually mean us harm in a way that can transform a contentious confrontation into a compassionate interaction. . Morihei Ueshiba, also called O Sensei, or great teacher, and the Founder of Aikido, says “The purpose of aikido is to rid the world of aggression and contention, and he also states, “ Aikido is the manifestation of Love.”
My Walk on the Aikido Path: A Healing Journey of Self-discovery, is a story of inner transformation and healing.
This a book about healing, and about becoming, and about developing an identity. This is a book about the vehicles of that healing, my journey in Aikido. In my Aikido practice, my instructors have taught me that without precise, clean technique we can never hope to gain this understanding in a meaningful way. I realized that by taking the path of Aikido, I was taking a step to take back power in my life and heal my sense of brokenness and isolation.