A 40 years long study of life energy and courage
Kawaraban No. 54
by Kenji Shimizu
The celebration ceremony (at the hotel Okura, Tōkyō, Heisei 15 (2003), January 26th) on the occasion of the prize awarding by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the year Heisei 14 (2002) to Shimizu sensei exceeded all expectations.
In the following the editors of the ‘kawaraban’ will once again provide for all a summary of Shimizu sensei’s greetings in written form.
‘A 40 years long study of life energy and courage’
Greetings from the head Shimizu sensei on the occasion of the celebration of the prize awarding by the Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Thank you very much for your attending in such a great number. I am pleased with all my heart that I have the chance to hold such an event.
Looking back on 40 years of aikidō and never having stopped practicing until today touches me particularly. In short it may sound fantastically following this way for 40 years, however by no means at all it was like that.
In the beginning after my step into independence it was like being in a small sailing boat crossing the Pacific Ocean, and I felt like I was about to capsize, if rain or wind would come up. 40 years have passed since I had to recognize that there is no other way for me. As I am absolutely not the type suited for office work.
It is being said that the samurai in ancient times lost their lives, if they did not respond immediately and quickly to signs of their environment. In spite of excellent physical condition they might have had lost their lives if they had not been alert and became insensitive. This is due to the fact that strength of mind was even more important than physical strength. Of course, in aikidō you also will need physical strength, however it is important to raise the spiritual ki power, the energy of life, with the help of your body. The founder of aikidō, the admired Morihei Ueshiba, always kept saying: “Strength is limited, ki is unlimited”. He was practicing just like that, so we always felt without doubt, that this is the way.
Being in a profession like mine, the mind pulls the body, and I can feel quite well how the mind controls the body. People often talk about the influence of ki, and I do believe, that the 40 years of aikidō until today have not been in vain.
During this time I have received energy of life and courage. I was able to experience it by myself through aikidō.
I thank you from all my heart for your support during these 40 years. You have supported me by your understanding and you have helped me. Thank you very much for your attention..
© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 10/2003