Aikido and I
Kawaraban No. 13
by Kazuko Hidaka
Nowadays people would probably regard to the connection of vitality of the universe with one’s own vitality as ‘network’.
In aikido I am gaining incredible vitality by ki, which connects me with the universe.
By such words of a friend I was seduced into aikido.
In the beginning I intended to try it once or twice and wanted to stop, if it would not suit me well. With this relaxed attitude I went to the dojo in Setagaya-ku, Sangenjaya (address of the Tendokan in Tokyo – remark by translator), and received an introduction directly by Shimizu sensei.
I was taught the essence of Aikido, the meaning of techniques, and the movements of the body. During such practice, when I was not able to move arms, legs and hip as required, I couldn`t help to notice my bodily decay.
During primary and middle school time I always distinguished myself at the sports festivals in spring and autumn by short distance running and folk dance. Especially I, who always trusted in my moving capabilities, asked myself: ‘Why can’t I do that?’
Thinking about it, actually many decades have passed since these active times. During these decades I raised my children and took care of my husband’s well-being round the clock. Nearly no time was left for sportive activities. Therefore, I felt getting rusty, and the feeling of not being able to take some actions against it, saddened me.
Although I worried about my husband’s words, that something like aikido is unsuitable for women, I felt a fresh feeling emerging, and told myself for my own`s sake and for and my health: ‘I will give aikido a try, nevertheless.’
In the dojo I studied the techniques and at home I read the work ‘Zen and Aikido’ eagerly to learn about `ki’ (mind). I tried hard to understand the essence of Shimizu sensei’s words. By that my husband, my son and my daugther came into contact with the seriousness of my efforts in aikido, and began to understand.
Lately I imitate the techniques at home as well. I am practicing the flow of motions of my arms and legs and the movement of the hip as I have learnt, but it is quite difficult, and I am somehow at a loss about the position of my feet, whether it was aihanmi or gyakuhanmi, or how to grab your partner`s hand correctly. Nevertheless my movements have become a little smoother.
Whenever I get in touch with the beautiful flowing movements of aikido, with the mind that lies in the smooth movements, as well as the painted word ‘Tendo’, then it flows through my mind and my body, and I cannot suppress my vitality, that is awakening.
Isn’t that possibly a permission to pass towards vitality, which is being granted to me by the universe?
In future I want to integrate aikido into my life and harmonize it with it. I will continue with aikido as good as I can.
© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 09/2002