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Kawaraban No. 36


by Kenji Shimizu

In September this year I underwent a knee operation. If I would have been a company employee I would not had gone for an operation, but as I have a special kind of job, I had no choice other than to overcome myself.

It was the first time in my life to be in a hospital and under rehabilitation. I had plenty of time to reflect on various things, which made this time extremely meaningful. On the other hand, however, I bore the dojo in mind every day, and was worried of course. Thus I intensively became aware, how grateful I am for everything, and that I have been able to apply myself to aikido wholeheartedly for 35 years in a society like ours` today. Aikido is budo, which brings forward the development of a strong self, and the more you are practicing it, the better body and mind will be trained.

To strengthen yourself means to give up your ego under certain aspects. In other words, you need the ‘mind of readiness’. No matter what we are dealing with, we have to accomplish the tasks with adequate readiness, to get close to purity.

You cannot miss the talks on reform of administration, reform of government, relaxation in restrictions and suchlike, but the reason for stagnancy and no progress is, that the politicians lack courage and readiness. Matters will not progress, as long as those people keep themselves in safe distance and only waggle flags madly.

The screw in my leg has finally been removed now, and it needs some more patience, until I will be able to resume training. I will address myself to the spread of aikido at home and abroad, and will take the meaning of ‘readiness’ anew to heart.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 04/2004