Monday, December 22, 2014

Aikido Again

By Pascal Dennis

After a couple of decades away, I’m doing Aikido again.

A couple of classes a week, with my son, Matthew, at North York’s Aikido Hokuryukai club [link] with senseis Jim Barnes and Yumi Nakamura.

I’m sore, but my body hasn't forgotten the powerful, circular movements. “You started so young,” Yumi-san reminded me.


Why did I stop practicing Aikido? Family, work and travel responsibilities. Very little free time, the past few decades.

But, on some level, I was still practicing. In fact, our old Toyota plant was always a dojo for me.

I always felt like bowing before I went on the shop floor, as a way of showing respect to my team members and to the art of management. (I still feel that way.)

It’s nice to come full circle, to have your body remind you of things your mind has long forgotten.

Aikido practice and philosophy have provided a pathway – a set of standards, a way of being. (I’m a poor student though and have often strayed.)

I first intuited concepts like continuous improvement, respect for people, and respect for a ‘way’, in a dojo.

Is Aikido a fighting art? Yes - if you supplement it with a striking art, like taekwondo or karate.

But fighting’s not my purpose – strength and balance are.

It’s good to be back. I hope Aikido gives Matthew all it has given me.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season,

Pascal


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