Did you know your Aikido training would be able to help you have a safe and happy Halloween? Well it can and if you think about it long enough I’m sure you can figure out how.
Aikido is all about being aware of what’s going on around you and blending with whatever comes your way. That’s exactly what you need to do when you are out and about on Halloween night. I’m sure your parents will review all the basic safety concerns for trick-or-treating but it won’t hurt to mention some of them again:
- Please make sure you’re able to see without anything blocking your view
- Don’t go by yourself or go wondering off on your own
- Wait until you get home and your candy is checked before eating any of it
- Carry a flashlight to light up any areas that are especially dark
- Keep your eyes open and be aware of who is out and about Watch out for traffic as you go back and forth across the streets
So, pay attention to your surroundings and the people you meet. Keep your head up and look people in the eyes even if you’re just passing them by. Let everyone know your paying attention and you know who and what’s around you.
I hope you have a wonderful time out with your friends and family.
Teresa Mastison Sensei
As the years go by and I continue to train in Aikido I have come to realize that I am on a path that never ends. Deep down I guess I know that, but usually I find myself thinking I need to have all the answers; that I should know how to do every technique really well; that somehow I am the one who should know it all. Well…how arrogant is that? When I get stumped by a tough question or stumble over a technique I struggle between feeling bad and taking advantage of the situation and learning from it. At times I feel incompetent and not worthy to be an instructor. It’s very humbling to be constantly reminded that I don’t know everything and that achieving a certain rank does not make you anything special. When I get down on myself I read a little of O’Sensei’s teachings and I’m reminded that:
“ Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.”
“The Art of Peace is not easy. It is a fight to the finish, the slaying of evil desires and all falsehood within. On occasion the Voice of Peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor.”
“To practice properly the Art of Peace, you must: Calm the spirit and return to the source. Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire. Be ever-grateful for the gifts received from the universe, your family, Mother Nature, and your fellow human beings.”
“,,,The only desire that should remain is the thirst for more and more training in the Way.”
Sensei means teacher, but more literally it means “one who has gone before”. I definitely don’t have all the answers and I’m becoming more comfortable with that, but I do have 23 years of experience and I can share what I’ve learned with those who are willing to listen and train.
So, thank you for being such great students and helping me continue to grow and learn. I hope that my personal insights can help you get the most out of your training as well as realize how useful your Aikido training can be for all areas of your life. Take the lessons you learn on the mat and think about how they can help you at home, work, social situations etc.
But remember you are always learning so don’t beat yourself up if you stumble once in awhile. Take it from me it’s better if you recognize it and then try to learn from it.
Good luck in your training. I hope you get what you need from it.
Teresa Mastison Sensei