The Concept of -Do

Americans like to do.

Americans are busy. And once something is done the activity is scratched off the list as completed regardless of the amount of heart or mind which had been put into it. The task started and ended and need not be thought of anymore.

In Japanese culture, there is the concept of -do meaning way or way of life.  

Gaku Homma in his book, Children and the Martial Arts: An Aikido Point of View explains the concept of -do as the heart of the Japanese culture. This is the mind set of continual learning, “the path that has no end.”  Continual growth is the way to life. The activities of life are not to be rushed through, but to be experienced with repetition for the sake of growth itself.

This approach of constant learning is also the foundation of other Japanese art forms like calligraphy, the tea ceremony, flower arranging, and other martial arts. But this concept can be applied to any area of American life. Marriage, family, work, friendships, cooking, eating, caring for oneself, hobbies, can all be undertaken with humility. Come to life with the heart of a student with the goal not of arriving at a perfect ending of the pursuit, but to improve and to learn.

Coming to Aikido class can be approached the American way of “do”ing.  Come to class, practice moves, and check it off the list. You will still receive benefits from the focus and exercise and the community here at Emerald City Aikido.

Or each class can be approached from the point of view of which the art of Aikido was born: continual learning.

Call Emerald City Aikido today to find out about our free introductory classes. Experience firsthand the difference between doing and “-do”ing. (206) 323.2322