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All Tied Up – Musubi part 2

In my last post I discussed two Japanese words–awase and musubi— are slightly different concepts of connecting with a partner’s energy. I focused on musubi, which means “knot.” As uke (attacker, receiver of the technique), I can feel when my attack gets tied to what nage (thrower) is doing, either by a slight loss of…

Bound to Connect: Musubi Part 1

Bound to Connect: Musubi Part 1

Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Although it is practiced around the world, its cultural context is important. From the uniform to the technical terminology, aikido comes with cultural nuance. The jargon is a turn-off for some. But it holds depth and direction for study. A lot of the language is difficult to translate into…

DSBK Annual Report 2019

DSBK Annual Report 2019

Durango Shin Budo Kai Aikido focused on building a robust financial backbone throughout 2019. The dojo achieved this outcome by networking with the community, nurturing our own internal processes, always developing our practitioners, investing in board member training, and building a plan for the future. Our end goal: secure our own practice space. Even as…

Falling For It, Redux

Falling For It, Redux

Watch Your STEP by man’s pic     I dreamed that I stood on the ledge of a tall building, 40 floors up. I stepped casually off the ledge and fell, remaining upright, hands by my side, as though I were just standing on a street corner. Looking down, I saw the ground approaching and…

Growth Through Subtraction

Growth Through Subtraction

  In the US, we have an independent mindset that defaults to  “Yeah, but why should I?” Why should I obey this stupid law? Why do I have to step back instead of sideways? Why, when I begin a martial art, do I have to do all this bowing to everybody? Once we are convinced…

To See a Tree: Lessons from the Deadly Table

To See a Tree: Lessons from the Deadly Table

“I was having panic attacks,” Adele explains to the dinner party gathered at the local brewery.  Around that large, high table we appear like ordinary people, but really, we are something of a secret anomaly — eight individuals, all with black belts in Aikido, ranging from second- to fifth-degree. Collectively, we represent around 180 years…

Falling for It

Falling for It

“My ex-wife chose the paint colors,” Trebb explains as we set food and silverware on the dining table. He must have seen me eyeing the odd pastel yellow, blue, and green. Although the yellow leans too close to chalk and not close enough to daffodil, the overall color scheme is as charming as Easter candy…

When I’m Ninety Six

When I’m Ninety Six

As the milk for my morning’s cappuccino was frothing, I tore off yesterday’s page from our daily Zen calendar. Today’s quote was brief: “Practice thirty more years”. Last night I went to the first session of a beginners’ class that Michael was teaching. He called me up before the group to demonstrate a technique, then…

So Glad I Stayed

So Glad I Stayed

“Dude! That is so smooth!” My uke, Tim, makes this declaration while teetering on his toes, one arm so twisted his spine bevels. He looks like a factory-faulty scarecrow. Then, I complete the technique and the scarecrow buckles, ending up belly-down on the mat. Tim laughs the whole way down. We take turns practicing the…

Remaining Mind

Zanshin translates as “remaining mind.” It does not mean the mind remains on the past or a few moments ago, or that thing you did well or poorly. It remains here and now. Zanshin also translates as “the mind with no remainder.” Divide any number by one and the remainder is zero. If you are…