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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…

Know Your Limitations

Know Your Limitations

Face down. Prostrate on my belly. With my head turned to one side, one cheek smooshed and spread like a pancake on the griddle. That’s where I was when I confronted a demon. The nage who had just whirled me down to the mat was now trying to master an immobilizing (but not deliberately painful)…

Immovable Mind

Immovable Mind

To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace. – Morihei Ueshiba A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind. – Morihei Ueshiba I always admired the heroes in old Westerns. The townsfolk are under threat and the sheriff, gunfighter, farmer has…

The Caretaker’s Test

The Caretaker’s Test

The above picture comes from Scott Carlton’s recent 5th kyu test—the first demonstration a person gives to establish their rank as a beginner. The first time they truly come to Aikido’s front door and knock, knock, knock. At first glance, the photo seems like an innocuous and typical first test snapshot, and yet, it actually…