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Rich in vitality

Kawaraban No. 15


by Kenji Shimizu

When I was training under Ueshiba Morihei sensei he often used to say: „Only after exceeding your 60`s birthday the true human vitality will show.“

Being myself now somewhat above fifty, I do remember those words frequently. At that time, however, I assumed that o-sensei was admonishing himself, but now all of a sudden the meaning has become evident to me.

As long as the body is still young people do not understand the true meaning of vitality (ki power). But along with the weakening of the body they begin to feel the mystery of ki power. Without taking care too much about their bodies most people are able to maintain their health until the age of fifty. Thereafter, however, the critical moment will come. You experience manifold situations, torment yourself, reflect about it, and as a result the true self should emerge. People who lack ki power though will build up stress and become weaker in line with their body.

According to o-sensei you may imagine, that richness of ki power is accumulated depending on how the whole period of sixty years of life has served as nourishment and has been absorbed by and concentrated in the center of the body (seika-tanden).

You will understand the usage and the impact of ki after practicing aikidō for many years.

Generally it is extremely important for human beings to be always seriously engaged in something. For example, if something life threatening happens, the brain stem, which is located in the back part of the brain, will be activated. This brain, that under normal conditions has become less important, as well as various muscle cells will be activated simultaneously resulting in the release of even more ki and in purifying life.

As you the reader already know the internal organs of the human body do not rest for a moment but work incessantly to perform their tasks. Only unforeseeably few people know that ki heavily influences the internal organs. In accordance with the old saying: „Being ill means to be without ki“, I am strongly convinced that we have to train ourselves by doing something to develop our ki power to prevent sickness.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 02/2003