The Martial Art of Aikido took root in many countries outside Japan starting in the 1950s. At the time the underlying philosophy of peace and non violence appealed to many people. Today that philosophy still attracts students to the art. As I approach my 40th year in Aikido, I find another reason just as compelling.
Our world is increasingly dominated by electronics. It is amazing how much we now have at our fingertips and yet it is disturbing how tied we are to our many screens. Walk down any street in any city and observe how many people are on their phones and pads. I believe as we become more engaged with our devices that we become less engaged with one another and our environment.
As a counterpoint to our electronically driven lives, Aikido training offers the opportunity to genuinely connect with others and to observe oneself in relation to others. It is a training that carries over into our daily lives and enlivens mind body and spirit.