Aikido

Aikido means “Way of Harmony,” or “Way of Love.”  Ai can be translated as love, or harmony,  and “do” as way. Ki can be understood as energy, or life force. 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.” 

 

Rachel Kling

Rachel Kling is a lifelong writer, an Aikido practitioner of 20 years, and began her career as a psychotherapist when she graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a clinical psychology degree in 2016. She has a Master’s Degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University.
She received her blackbelt in aikido in 2011, and has a daily practice of misogi, a form of spiritual purification. Her practice of misogi jo, seen here on a video, helps her to connect with nature and her own spirituality, open her heart, clear her mind, and live in the world in an empowered way.
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“In Aikido we employ a sword to represent the cleansing of maliciousness and a sincere attitude.” – Morihei Ueshiba

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“Aikido is the actualization of love” – Morihei Ueshiba

My walk on the Aikido Path: A healing journey of self-discovery.

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.

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