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Aikido in Real Life

Aikido in Real Life

Most people think that what we do in the Dojo is the same as in the real situation outside the Dojo. This is the idea of competitive sport and self defence. Aikido is neither.

Life outside the Dojo can be Daily life or Real life. Daily life is what happens every day, such as taking meals, working in the office or sleeping. Real life consists of rare events such as accidents, your house burning down or you being attacked in the street.

Ki training is programmed in order to prepare you for them.

It is also possible that someone may attack you so Aikido in Real Life becomes necessary. Then the only way that you can follow is to change mind, both the other’s and yours.

You must understand this truth of the Real Life. Techniques of Aikido in Real Life must change mind of the others.

4. April 2020

Why competition is not the way of life

Life is the continuation of acts. An act is an expression of oneself in a perceived environment. All lives act, but plants and animals act according to the instinct with which they are born. Human beings do not have as much instinct and they have to learn how to act. This means that human beings have the possibility to improve their acts and that is the main part of humanity.

How do human beings improve their acts? The only way is imagination and not experience. Even plants and animals can improve their acts with experience, but that improvement always comes down to a fighting way. Fighting and competition can only improve fighting acts. Plants and animals can fight because their acts are basically limited by their instincts. On the other hand, human beings can destroy the whole world and even themselves with their fighting acts. That is why improvement through competition and fighting is not the way of life.

When you practise Aikido, you always imagine the future of one second and act. The imagination of the future is the only way to improve your act in order to create a better life and a better world. When you compete or fight, you develop conditioned reflex in order to win. All conditioned reflex is based on the past and do not create a better future.That is why competition and fighting does not create the ability to make your life and the world better.

6. April 2020

Calligraphy by Shin Watanabe Sensei

"The real life"




mixture or union

Meaning the universe or the real world which exist independently from human perception or acts.

Questions & Anwers:


You wrote "the only way [for improving acts] is imagination and not experience".

It's clear that experience by itself will not change my acts but experience provides useful feedback to imagination.

So the ability of our imagination to evolve accordingly is paramount for improvement of acts. (You said often that we learn from our mistakes and from other people's mistakes).



Experience only helps us to avoid mistakes.

That is why it does not create a better future but is useful for competition and fighting.

Imagination creates better acts and so better future.

There are two things in life. One is to do good and the other is not to do bad. Imagination helps us to do good. Experience helps us not to do bad.



Can you explain more about  "imagine one second after " it is possible without thinking or thoughts?

I remember you said imagination must feel in the body, but how to do one second after, if don't exist yet , to feel in the body ?  



I never said," You feel imagination in the body."  It is your misunderstanding.

Imagination moves body. Mind is not thoughts or feelings but imagination. You are always imagining but you are normally unconscious of your imaginations because you are interested in your thoughts and feelings.

When you sleep, you do not think or feel. Then you sometimes see your imagination and you call it dream.

When you see your thoughts and body, you will see that under your thoughts and feelings, there is imagination and that imagination is your mind.

When you act, you always have imagination. So Aikido training creates imagination of you and your Uke one second in the future even though you are unconscious of it.

However, many years of Aikido practise will naturally create your ability of imagining the future. This ability will create better acts to create the better future.



It looks like the Idea of "changing both our mind and other people's mind" could be applied both when somebody physically attacks me (Real Life) and in Daily Life scenarios like family relationships or challenging situations at work.

On the other end sometimes in Daily Life it is perfectly fine that neither me or others change their mind as long as we "continue living" respecting each other.

It's self evident when we should change other people's mind in Real Life, but how do we understand when "we have the right" to change other people mind in Daily Life without becoming manipulative?



If you intentionally try to change other's mind, it becomes manipulation.

If someone attacks you, you have a right to manipulate but in daily life you do not have a right to manipulate others. So you just try to understand others and the world you live in. Then your mind changes and that change can change other's mind and the world. This is leading.

You are allowed to manipulate in Real Life to protect your life but you have to lead others in your daily life.