Thursday, February 09, 2006

You Decide It and You Do It

This is for you (and you know who you are).

One could say that the study of Aikido can be summarized by that. "You decide it and you do it". Once you learn the basic movements, you could spend a long time thinking about the techniques, or you could just DO them. Inoue-kancho spoke about this at the Kagamibiraki ceremony, and it was clear that he decided his techniques and did them. Nothing more. But more importantly, nothing less. His tremendous willpower was visible in every movement. For me, this is the whole essence not just of our aikido practice, but of its effect on every part of our lives.

What I want from my training is to have the willpower to change my life. To decide it and to do it. To have the courage to face my fear, my laziness, my selfishness, and all of my many shortcomings, and to do what I decide to do despite them. This cannot be done halfheartedly, or it will certainly fail. It means developing a habit of giving and being 100% all the time.

If I get my wish, I will never injure another person through my aikido. My aikido will not give me mastery over others, but mastery over myself, and allow me to have all the important things in my life that I really want. This is the greatest benefit I can get from my training. I am not, and do not expect to be, the toughest guy in the world (sorry Seagal-sensei). Instead, I will choose to be the most successful guy in the world, judged by my own definition, not someone else's.

Every dayI go to the dojo, I reinforce my confidence that I can achieve what I want in my life. Not by changing other people, but by changing myself, and not by talking about it, by DOING IT. This is especially important at 4 AM when I wake up, in the dark and the cold, shave and get ready to go to the dojo and to a long day at work afterward.

I am often jealous of the days between 20 and 30 years old when I changed my life from nothing to something. During that 10 year stretch I paid my way through 5 years of private college, got a passport, went to a foreign country, learned a foreign language, and worked 40 hours a week or more basically the whole time. I didn't just take control of my life, I leveraged all of the training I had before (starting at 14 in my original dojo) and made those lessons count. I found I miss that time because I accomplished so much and my life was full speed ahead every day.
I was really proud of what I did during those years and I proved to myself that I could make my dreams come true.

I am equally proud of who I am now, and grateful to a lifetime (an adulthood anyway) spent in and around the martial arts, which are the real reason I had enough discipline to achieve anything at all. My current training takes me back to those days because it's tough, and I prove to myself that even nearing 40 I can still get it done. I do not have to be a victim of my boss, or my wife, or my children. I do not have to be a victim of MY LIFE. I can choose to change from victim to VICTOR.

This will be even greater than before, because I will not be selfish; I will use it to empower every relationship I have with every person in my life, and make all of our lives better. Hopefully not just with what I say, but with what I do.

Many people will come to the dojo seeking many things; this is my version of what I want.
I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I won't settle for anything less.

What are you looking for in the dojo?? Right or wrong you can find it.

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