Welcome Letter

Tips

Your Body
Attire
Observation
Gravity and Grounding
Speed, Timing, Breathing
Extension
Congruity and Training
Uke-Nage Relationship
Cycles
Commitment
The Dojo
Our Relationship
Other Instructors,
Students, and Arts
Deciding to Leave
Expectations

Reference

Dojo Etiquette
Fundamentals
Helpful Phrases
Aikido Ranks
Basic Counting
Glossary
Bibliography

Acknowledgements

Cycles

Like all of nature, we all operate on natural rhythms. Most probably, your progress in aikido (and in the rest of your life) will go in cycles. It's easy to train on the upswings, but it can be difficult to persevere when things aren't going so well. If you only train during the upswings you reinforce a pattern in which you function well when it's easy and poorly when it's hard. In the whole of your life, this can be rather destructive. On your own behalf, consider what would happen if you trained well when things were going well and continued as well as possible through the low times, so as to raise the quality of your peaks and valleys equally. Then your highs will be higher and your lows will be higher, and you will learn how to count on your skills when the going gets difficult. The natural result of this consistent training is that tomorrow's low is higher than yesterday's high! This can be a rather pleasant surprise.

Stay with it. Train on a steady schedule and allow yourself to discover your greater capabilities. Put in some time every day for your aikido, even if you can't make it to the dojo. Aikido will give you its greatest gifts in the later years of your life, when you need them most. Remember that this is an art which continues to improve with age. Stay with your training, and you will improve with age too. And don't fool yourself into thinking that it's easier for anyone else: it's not. We all have the same degree of self-realization before us.

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Acknowledgements
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