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A Training Journey
by Erik Calderon

Aikido training requires extreme amounts of concentration and physical endurance, as well as strength. Each person must focus on their inner-self. 

Each movement you make affects everything in the midst, much like the famous Zen Rock garden, or the stone that falls into a calm lake. Each movement we make sends out waves, which affect the people and things around us. A stone hits the calmness of a lake. It sends out waves around it. These waves ripple the water and send messages to the fish that something has fallen into the lake. The same principle applies to Aikido. When you make a movement you send your partner in different directions. That direction can make you weaker or stronger, can lead your partner down or up. It is important to become sensitive to these movements in order to improve. When we move our partner into us and we become weaker, we need to realize this and learn from it so that the next time we will move our partner away so that we can become stronger. This means that we must learn from our own mistakes instead of just trying to do
the same thing over and over again. We are not doing the same thing over and over again. Aikido changes with each movement, with each partner and with each day. If it were the same, it would become too boring for us to do day after day.

It is very important to remember that we are here to learn and enjoy that learning. It is important to remember to focus on yourself instead of on others. When you find yourself telling someone else what to do, STOP, and
ask yourself, did my partner ask me to help them discover the technique? If they did ask you then by all means help them. If they didnít ask you just keep quite and give them an honest sincere attack so that they may learn and
discover what Aikido means to them.

Aikido is a journey in discovering who we are, what we are and how to become better at what we do. Aikido is also a means to protect who we are, what we are and how we do it. It is also a wonderful way to express ourselves.

Each person at the dojo must express their own Aikido through Body, Mind and Spirit. Aikidoís depths are endless. Why we chose to do Aikido and how far we are willing to take Aikido is 100% up to each individual that walks into the dojo, so remember to respect the wishes of each person.

By Eric Calderon

Eric Calderon, is the chief instructor of Shin Ki Kan Aikido, 3215 Fondren, in Houston, Texas. He and his dojo have been very good friends of Aikido World Journal for several years now, and we treasure their friendship very much.

Thank you so much Eric, for the fine article!

All photos and literature used are copyrighted materials from their respective owners and photographers. Permission in writing must be made for any duplication, display, or reprint.

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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
© 1978 C. Matrasko

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