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

Observation

Observation is an active, not passive, skill. It is a skill that can be developed through training. To a martial artist, the ability to clearly see (not to be confused with look ) and instantly evaluate a movement or situation is critical. You will find that much of the teaching of aikido is done nonverbally. That is to say that the instructor demonstrates a movement and the student has the responsibility to perceive the movement and to try to repeat it. Part of the teaching is to break your dependency on others to explain everything to you. Martial arts movements are not learned by intellectualizing, by conceptualizing, by philosophizing, but rather by doing. Unlike the Western concept of teaching, the burden is not on the instructor to teach you, but on you to seek out the truth of the teaching yourself. An old martial arts maxim states, "Do not listen to my words, for they may lie. Watch my body, as the body tells the truth." The greatest gift your instructor has to offer is simply the demonstration of his or her art. It is up to you to "steal" that art and make it your own.

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Acknowledgements
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