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Examining our motivations

January 15, 2016

I’m really enjoying my Aikido practice at the moment, I think one of the reasons for this is that at the moment I’m training without a fixed goal, at the moment we’re working through our 3rd Kyu syllabus, but there is no time scale that we’re working to or unnecessary pressure of a large grade exam event.

My motivation at the moment is to train to learn and make personal progress, later in the Year when the 3rd Kyu grade come along then fair enough, at the moment I’m just enjoying the learning process and the journey.


Monday night again working our way through the 3rd Kyu syllabus, looking at the immobilisations from the 5 ‘escapes’ – Irimi 1&2, Tenkan 1&2 and corner step, we took a particularly in depth look at Nikkyo.

When I first made the transition from Aikikai to Ki Aikido, I didn’t understand why the immobilisations started from a heavy ‘Ikkyo based’ movement, but now with all the variations in footwork, it makes perfect sense, as you are working from a known, rather than trying to remember a different set of footwork for each technique.

Also by working from an Ikkyo like movement, you have the flexibility and freedom to change the technique from one to another.


My Wife said today that this Year should be a Year where my ‘goal’ is to have no goals, She knows that I’m at times quite a driven person, who throws themselves headlong into all manner of things usually with a set goal to achieve.


We were talking about my attending the Easter sesshin with Stonewater Zen, it is a large financial investment, and a week of my 3 weeks annual leave at work, but I think that a week of immersion into my Zen practice, My wife is encouraging me to attend, but to go without any goal or expectations, just to go and experience the practice.

I would like to take Jukai this year, to make a commitment to my practice, rather than as a goal to achieve.


So this Year I will train without a set goal, and I will practice Zen without a fixation on achieving anything.

Just turn up, with the motivation of being present in each moment and getting the most out of each minute of being there.

Not thinking of win or loss, gain or achievement, the experience is victory enough.


Thoughts go out to Bernie Glassman Tetsugen Roshi and his friends and family, after he suffered a stroke on Tuesday.


From → weekly blog

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