Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aikido against Sress

In the Picture: Ben Tan Source

Stressful days can many times take away your energy and fill your head with all sorts of unpleasant thoughts. Here are some tips from an aikidoka what to do in order to prevent, deal with and reduce stress. What I like about aikido, is that sometimes even though I find it hard to drag myself to the training I always come back from them as fresh as new. And I always, with no exception sleep like a baby. So what is the secret power of aikido? It is the pople you meet there, it is the phyisical exercise your body so badly needs after sitting so many hours at a desk, in front of a computer learining or working. Or is it something else?

Human Relations

When you start training, you feel funny at the beginning abou the techniques, about grabbing others. It is strange to find yourself in the position of the one being thrown. What you need to do is to get used to the other people. As Saotome Sensei says in his 2nd chapter I read in a previous post: no two persons are alike, no two persons move alike, you have to take each one of them separately and adapt. It is a great exercise for life outside the dojo also. And then step by step, by helping and being with each other, you start liking and trusting each other. Main thing is to accept the other and liberate oneself of any inhibitions as Crane Sensei would say.

Endorphines those Little Wonders 

When training hard enough aikido exercises a larger part of your body than many of the other sports. You grab, you roll, to execute free falls. Any beginner aikidoka can tell you that in the first month one discovers pain in muscles one didn't even know about that existed. But before the pain in the muscles, the first thing that one feels after aikido is the increased endorphine release. That improves wellbeing, mental balance and is also said to strengthen the immune system. On days when I ponder too much about this and that and have my head filled with all sorts of negative things, I just have to convince myself to go and training. I return home laughing and bright and full of life. It is like some sort of potion, I tell you. I have no other logical explanation to this than the endorphines.

Refuse Resisting

Western culture is oriented towards arguing. Germans have something they call the culture of arguing. This distorted along the years and lead to our gradual disinterest to keep harmony and balance in human relationships. The continuous struggle and resisting to what is coming from the outside world results into stress. Why not try for once blending with what comes from outside and taking it as it is. Like that no negativity can reach and impact you.


I feel I started understanding this principle better after reading the third chapter of The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome. I have made a voice recording of this chapter as I find it explains very well the concept of musubi. So just read again this excerpt, listen to the voice recording and take some time to reflect on all this. 

Do let me know to what conclusion you arrived!


Thanks for voting on the poll about the women in skirts aikido experiment. The majority voted that it is an interesting approach. In conclusion, Bernath Sensei, keep the videos coming!


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The Voice of Aikido


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