수련후기 -중앙도장 마이클

by YoonJunhwan on Nov 17, 2016
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(I apologize to my Korean friends that I must write this in English in order to fully express myself)

 

In Aikido, the ideal position for an Aikidoka is to be balanced and in harmony with their surroundings. When we practice, it is often our objective to take the balance of our opponents, to unsettle their center of gravity in order to secure a position where we both can be left unharmed from the encounter. No matter how violent or sudden the attack comes, I put my trust in Aikido to find a way where I could pacify my opponent with minimal force.

I was unaware of this when first introduced to Aikido, I had thought all martial arts had the same objective: to defeat your opponent. All that martial arts represent were different paths to achieve this goal. I was invited by a friend to watch a demonstration of Aikido by who would become my first teachers. I remember being mesmerized by the smooth movements, the effortless blend of attack and response. Inspired, my friends and I started training that month. I was young and looking for a challenge, I quickly learned that what I saw in that demonstration was the culmination of decades of practice: the path I chose was not an easy one, and there was no clear end to it.

I strayed from this path on a number of occasions. Other aspects of my life would take over my time or attention, or I would practice other martial arts for a number of years. However, I never fully abandoned Aikido, there was too much depth of meaning to explore, too much that I only began to comprehend. I never regretted learning and training in other styles though. I believe that when an opportunity comes to learn something with substance and meaning, you should take it. O-Sensei himself studied several other martial arts before founding Aikido. The philosophy of Aikido always stayed in the back of my mind regardless of what I was training, I found it easy to see it’s ideals applied to other arts.

When I discovered the Aikido community in Seoul, I knew it was time to dedicate myself fully to becoming a better Aikidoka. By then 11 years had passed since I first saw Aikido but I knew the years hadn’t dulled my dedication. I was so happy to find a dojo that accommodated a foreigner like myself in Korea; it became another example of the power of Aikido that the love and respect for the Way transcends all barriers. The more I trained, the more I realized that the techniques taught was just the beginning of the Way; to master them is like putting on shoes for a journey. It is not the journey itself but merely preparing for it. Yes, I have learned from other martial arts, but I know that Aikido is the way for me. Just as an Aikidoka is unbalanced by a technique, ultimately they find their center again and balance is restored. Aikido will be my center and I will always come back to it.

 

Michael Johannes Peters

Seoul, South Korea

16-11-2016


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