Aiki-Themes

Current week is 23

1 Jun. 20207 Jun. 2020.

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This week's Aiki-Theme: "Your spine is your sword". My late Aikido teacher, Peter Bacas sensei, often used to tell me "in Aikido, your spine is your sword". This kind of really confused me in the beginning because a spine doesn't look anything like a sword and it doesn't cut like a sword. So it was one of my teacher's typical cryptic clues about what was the hidden meaning behind O-Sensei's teaching of Aikido. After some time reading up on Miyamoto Musashi's text, the Book of Five Rings, and some other ancient Samurai documents, I finally got the idea that, in Japanese culture, the sword was not only a weapon for the samurai but also represented the soul of the samurai. Then I connected the dots, that the meaning of my teacher's words "your spine is your sword" was connected to a state of divinity and realization through our body. The spine is therefore not the physical sword but also a soul that the sword represents. Therefore, O-Sensei's movements were always so upright as well as they were sharp. He connected his crown of the head to heaven and his tailbone to the earth, reaching in opposite directions as he performed his Aikido moves. The practice is therefore, a matter of maintaining not just a straight spine at all times but an awareness of the connection between heaven and earth through our physical movement. Can we maintain a state of divinity whilst facing a practice partner who is triggering us in all directions based on what is being mirrored by them? Overcoming such blocks and obstacles is the way that O-Sensei was showing. Therefore, Aikido has no competition as the only trial we have is with our own inner obstacles and the way of Aikido is purifying us as we remove those obstacles step by step.