True study of martial arts

Jardin japonais Albert KahnPhotography by Antonin Borgeaud © 2007

One always complains of what one has received. Did the master teach the true art, the true technique, the true spirit? Did he keep the essential for himself? Did he understand his own master? I read and hear these complaints since the beginning of my study of martial arts in 1970.

I have never joined this choral.

One hears that the students are of lower quality and are not able to grasp the secrets of their master. I hear that the mould of ancient masters has been broken. I read that our time weakens the heart and bones of today’s beginners.

I have never joined this choral.

True study is my aim. I have to take up practise, choose the best teacher available and keep making efforts. This opening of trail is the access to mastery. Complaint is no such road.

I hear that Ueshiba Morihei sensei was the only one to be able to realize Aikido. By realizing, I mean understanding, and doing. I read that Musashi was the only one to realize his teaching. This path leads to despair.

I do not join this choral neither.

Once Noro Masamichi sensei asked me how I saw the coming year. I answered: “Full of great expectations.” He considered my answer and said then: “Hope is a great treasure for men.”

I join his choral.

Once when an old age illness caught Noro Masamichi sensei, he was on the phone listening to a suffering old friend and Aiki companion. He told his mate: “You cannot despair, you are the student of Ueshiba Morihei sensei.”

I join his choral.

Aikido is about technique led by spirit. Technique is the cobblestone on which we walk; spirit is the sight which urges us to move on, one cobble after the other, from one horizon to the next and beyond.

I join this companionship.

Feel free to attend next workshop at John Luijten’s dojo in Brunssum. I will teach there once a year, should we share the road together.

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