I hope everyone has a great beginning to what I hope is another fantastic year of learning and developing. Good luck with your studies and remember to always do your best!
School can be a great “dojo” where you can practice many Aikido principles. The word dojo means a place of training and so the school setting is an excellent place to hone your skills with the nonphysical aspects of Aikido.
Aikido is much more than techniques. Although it is true that the techniques you learn can help protect you, the nonphysical lessons we experience and practice can also help by giving us skills that may prevent the need to use techniques at all.
Here are some basic Aikido principles that you can practice on a daily basis and school is a great place to do it. I chose five to highlight. Maybe you can focus on one each day of the week.
Ki – energy that flows through all things. Extend positive energy to everyone. Make eye contact and smile when you are around others, offer to help a teacher or friend, make new friends by being friendly to others.
Shodo o seisu - control the first move. Always be aware of what’s going on around you. Pay attention by keeping your head up when you walk, look at people as they pass you by, see what’s happening around you and be ready to act.
Irimi – enter without fear. Accept school as a place where you can become better. Tackle your assignments with energy and do your best on them. Ask if you need help, but “just do it!”
Masakatsu agatsu – true victory is victory over oneself. Don’t let fear stop you from trying. Learn from every attempt and effort, then strive to do better. If you do better than you did before then you are improving and that’s a major victory.
Docho nu sei – calmness in action. Practice ki breathing so when things get crazy your body and mind will remember to take a deep breath and remain calm. Find a time and/or place where you do a couple of deep breaths every day and pretty soon it’ll become a habit that will help keep you calm or help you restore calmness. I ki breathe when I have to stop at a red light. Maybe you can take a couple of deep breaths when you’re in line after recess, whenever you go to the bathroom, before writing your name on your papers or wherever makes sense to you.
These are just a few examples of how you can practice Aikido principles at school (or anywhere really) which I think will help you become a more confident and assertive person. I believe a confident and more assertive person is less likely to be a target for bullies as well as help you succeed in all your endeavors.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Good luck and have an AWESOME year!
Teresa Mastison Sensei