Page 1

E” G ID Po O pu Fr AT la om TH r Te Th E le-S e LE u AD m IN mit G ED

“A IK

THE INTEGRAL DOJO PRESENTS

50 AIKIDO EXPERTS GIVE YOU THEIR #1 PRACTICE TIP FOR KEEPING YOUR AIKIDO

AT THE LEADING EDGE! Edited By Miles Kessler

1


TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome Letter From Miles Kessler….………………………………………………….….. 3 CHAPTER 1: On Connection ……..………………..……………………………………….. 4
 Richard Strozzi-Heckler, Paul Linden, Sonja Sauer ……..………………..……………….. 5 Joe Thambu, Mouliko Halen ………………………………..……..…..……………………. 6 CHAPTER 2: On Curiosity & Exploration ……..………………..…………………………. 7 Linda Holiday, Charles Colten, Blaine Feyen ……………………………………………… 8 Kayla Feder, Roy Dean, Dominique Cassidy ..………………….………………………….. 9 CHAPTER 3: On Honesty ……..………………..…………………………………………. 10 Jack Wada, Jan Nevelius ……………………………..…………..………………………… 11 Judith Elza, Rokas Leonavicius, Bogdan Heretoiu ..……………………………………… 12 


Michael Friedl, Anita Paalvast ……………………………………………………………… 13 CHAPTER 4: On Authenticity ……..………………..…………………………………….. 14 Wendy Palmer, Corky Quakenbush, Susan Chandler ……………………………………. 15 Kimberly Richardson, Richard Moon, Robert Kent ………………………………………. 16 CHAPTER 5: On Commitment To Practice ……..………………..………………………. 17 Christian Tissier, David Shaner ..………………………..…………………………………. 18
 


John Stevens, Paula “Rei Kiku” Femenias, Bill Leicht ……………………………………. 19 Rev. Koichi Barrish, Lenny Sly, Quentin Cook ……………………………………………. 20 Vince Salvatore, Miranda Saarentaus, Bjorn Saw ……………………………………….. 21 Peter Menke, Don Ellingsworth, Thorsten Shoo ………………………………………….. 22 CHAPTER 6: On Inquiry & Self-Reflection ……..……..………………..……………….. 23 Patrick Cassidy, Dave Goldberg, Eran “Junryu” Vardi ……………………………..………24 Robert Frager, Teja “Fudomyo” Bell, Mark Walsh ..……………………………………… 25 CHAPTER 7: On Integration ……..………………..……………………………………… 26 Robert Nadeau, Dirk Mueller, Fred Phillips …………………………………………….… 27 2 Dan Messisco, Josh Gold, Miles Kessler ………………………………………………..… 28


WELCOME LETTER FROM

MILES KESSLER Hello All, For 10-days in May, 2017, I hosted the first of its kind Aikido tele-summit called “Aikido At The Leading Edge.” In this online, global event, I gathered together with 46 of the worlds top Aikido teachers, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs for live interviews, workshops, and panel discussions relevant to the art of Aikido. Over 2,300 people tuned-in as the teachers generously offered their wisdom, perspectives, and vision of Aikido At The Leading Edge. At the end of each tele-summit session I asked a single question to all the teachers, namely; “What is your #1 tip, or practice advice for someone to keep their Aikido at the leading edge?” The answers were remarkably insightful. I have gathered these answers here in this eBook, and have organized into the following 7 sections: 1) On Connection 2) On Curiosity & Exploration 3) On Honesty 4) On Authenticity 5) On Commitment To Practice 6) On Inquiry & Self-Reflection, and 7) On Integration. It is my wish that the gems of wisdom collected in this eBook serve you as guidance, inspiration, and further development along your path of practice. May we all continue to co-create “Aikido At The Leading Edge!” With Love, Miles Kessler The Integral Dojo Aikido At The Leading Edge


www.theintegraldojo.com

3


ON CONNECTION “Merging”, “blending”, and “harmony” are core principles in Aikido – it’s right there in the name. In fact, after the individual practice principles like center and ground, the art naturally extends out to the relational principles. So it’s no surprise that several of the teachers related to “connection” as their #1 teaching tip. “When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.” ~ O Sensei 4


ON CONNECTION

“Make the relationship primary. The connection, the contact, the “musubi” comes first.”
 ~ Richard Strozzi-Heckler, 7th dan Aikido Sensei, Author, Leadership Facilitator

When practicing, be aware of how you could injure your partner. That will remind you to choose to protect your partner, which will change how you move, and Aikido will start to talk to you differently. ~ Paul Linden Ph.D, 6th dan

Aikido Sensei, Trauma & Peace Work

“By studying to be a good “uke", you are studying basically the same things as studying tori. Give our center. Look for the connection. Respect the angles, distance, and timing. You are really studying just two sides of the same coin.” ~ Sonja Sauer, 3rd dan Aikido Sensei


www.theintegraldojo.com

5


ON CONNECTION

“Be a good “uke”. If you are a good “uke" you can keep learning. As long as you are taking “ukemi" you can receive your partners technique, you can be guided, and you are keeping yourself young.” ~ Joe Thambu, 8th dan Aikido Sensei

“Have fun and enjoy training with others. They are your research partners. Keep on researching, stay aware, be present, share, and connect with a lot of people. Get their views and try it out.” ~ Mouliko Halen, 7th dan Aikido Sensei

www.theintegraldojo.com

6


ON CURIOSITY & EXPLORATION Several of the teachers in the tele-summit stressed in their #1 teaching tip the need to be curious and to continuously explore the art. Curiosity & Exploration are the very foundations from which O Sensei birthed Aikido. These are the very qualities that will assure that Aikido continues to grow and evolve into the future. “Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - should be your teacher” ~ O Sensei 7


ON CURIOSITY & EXPLORATION

“Open the door. Open the door to O Sensei and see what happens.” ~ Linda Holiday Sensei, 6th dan Aikido Sensei, Author

“Remain curious. Always be a student, a seeker, and a learner. Step into “Terra Incognita” (unknown land) and get comfortable with a little bit of discomfort. Live in the not-knowing and learn to be comfortable there.” ~ Charles Colten, 4th dan

Aikido Sensei, Director Of "Aikido In The Schools"

“To stay on your leading edge keep researching. The traditions are no doubt important, but we can get too traditional if we are not careful. So develop your aikido while keeping it in the philosophical framework of Aikido.” ~ Blaine Feyen, 4th dan Aikido Sensei, Aiki-Cast Podcast

www.theintegraldojo.com

8


ON CURIOSITY & EXPLORATION “Never stop looking for ways to grow and change. Even if you’re training with just one sensei, in one dojo. Keep your passion, and never stop looking for ways to grow and change.” ~ Kayla Feder, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“Tap early, tap often, and keep yourself safe. Especially teachers, because we can become complacent. You really never stop having to pay your dues. It is part of the exploration. And remember that failure is insightful.” ~ Roy Dean, Aikido & BJJ

Brazilian Jujitsu Instructor , RoyDeanTV

“Become joyfully and lovingly curious with the way you respond in the midst of an interaction. Dive in and explore. How do you act? What do you think? How do you feel? That is the beginning of a profound evolution.” ~ Dominique Cassidy, 4th dan Aikido Sensei, Meditation Teacher, Psychiatrist

www.theintegraldojo.com

9


ON HONESTY If we boil down all the developmental injunctions throughout time into one essence, then perhaps that would be honesty. To be honest with yourself, and with others. If we hold this as our inner compass then it will simultaneously, and constantly challenge us, and propel us forward in growth and development. Shakespeare got it right all those years ago: “This above all: to thine own self  be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” 


~ Polonius in Hamlet Always was, always is, and always will be. 10


ON HONESTY

“Be personally honest. Who are you? What are you right this moment? You have to be honest. If you reach for a concept of who you want to be, you may be ignoring the things in you that really want to talk to you at that level. So personal honesty is key.” ~ Jack Wada, 7th dan Aikido Sensei

“Keep researching and honestly ask yourself “Is this the best way that I can do this technique? Is this the best way that I can move?” You have to keep on giving up what you’ve learned, in order to learn something new. For that we have to constantly challenge what we know.” ~ Jan Nevelius, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

www.theintegraldojo.com 11


ON HONESTY “Try to be as truthful as you can. To yourself, and to your true being. Respect your needs and find the surroundings and environment which is set suited for you.” ~ Judith Elze Aikido Sensei

“Allow yourself to fall. By allowing yourself to fail you accept that there’s always going the be more to learn. If you don’t allow yourself to fail you are actually limiting yourself.” ~ Rokas Leonavicius, 3rd dan

Aikido Sensei, Aikido Siauliai YouTube Channel

“Be honest. With your limitations, your learning process, how fast you progress, or don't progress. Be honest 110%.” ~ Bogdan Heretoiu Aikidoka, Film Maker

www.theintegraldojo.com 12


ON HONESTY

“Enter the dojo with a willingness to be honest with yourself and your training partners. Practice with a joyful and generous spirit and allow yourself to access the feel of the movement with your partner as uke and nage. Be present, engaged, and compassionate.” ~ Michael Friedl, 7th dan Aikido Sensei

“Practice what you preach in your own life. Take it off the mat yourself. Be reflective and courageous with yourself and ask “How do I show up in situations and challenges that I meet?” It’s ok to lose it sometimes, but to learn from that.”
 ~ Anita Paalvast, 4th dan

Change Facilitator, Aikido@Work

www.theintegraldojo.com 13


ON AUTHENTICITY Aikido is the meeting of classical forms and universal principles. On one hand, we are copying forms and following our teacher’s directions. We meticulously polish the forms and carry the art forward into the future. But on the other hand, when we listen to our own inner needs, our own inner rhythms, and especially our own inner “unfolding”, then this changes everything. When we allow Aikido to move through us, we find that the art manifests in ways that we could never have predicted, or imagined. This is the meeting place where the art ends and your Unique Aikido begins. Where you discover your very own Authenticity. 14


ON AUTHENTICITY “Study O Sensei and recognize the extraordinary state that he tapped into in order to download Aikido to us. As you connect more to O Sensei’s lineage, your body will start to respond because there is something there that can touch you. Allow that to come through you.” ~ Wendy Palmer, 6th dan Aikido Sensei, Leadership Embodiment

“Be authentic in your training. By “authentic” I mean vigilance in practicing in alignment with your purpose at the deepest level of your being.” ~ Corky Quakenbush

Aikido Sensei, Animation Artist


“Attitude and of stance. Be centered, balanced over your feet, and find wholeness in yourself. Be curious, engaged, and explore. I love that. Step on the mat with awareness of your self in balance.” ~ Susan Chandler Sensei, 5th dan Aikido Sensei, Corporate Trainer

www.theintegraldojo.com 15


ON AUTHENTICITY

“When you walk into the dojo make a conscious practice of bowing to O Sensei. Leave your ego at the door, and open yourself to a larger sense of the possibilities. Consciously extend your energy outward in goodwill. And practicing to be as authentic as you can be.” ~ Kimberly Richardson, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“Be honest and authentic. O Sensei told us to accomplish our bestowed mission. So you be you. Be as honest and authentic as you can with respect, harmony, and consideration of other people. But never break your connection with your bestowed mission.” ~ Richard Moon, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“Give yourself permission to express your own Aikido. There is no real progress without authenticity. ~ Robert Kent, 4th dan

Aikido Sensei, President Of Aiki-Extensions

www.theintegraldojo.com 16


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE Many of our guest teachers spoke about the need for commitment to practice. This is based on the idea that our greater potential is waiting for us somewhere down the path of practice. All we need to do to realize this potential is to commit to walking a higher Path of practice. “The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” ~ O Sensei

17


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE

“At the beginning in Aikido we must practice with agreements, to work together. But the more we practice, the more we need to face difficulties from our partners that we need to learn how to solve. Of course, the difficulty must be according to that persons level. If they are good, then push a little more. Solving these problems in an Aiki way is the study of Budo.” ~ Christian Tissier, 8th dan

“Practice all day. Do “Shugyo”, not “Keiko”. Keiko means “practice” in Japanese, like when you go to the dojo and practice for a few hours. While shugyo means “austere training” and you should apply it all day. Make your Aikido shugyo and train all day! ~ David Shaner, 8th dan

Aikido Sensei, Author, Consultant

www.theintegraldojo.com 18


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE

“Misogi.” When ever anyone asked O Sensei “what is the essence of Aikido?” he would always answer “Misogi”. Aikido is a practice of self purification” ~ John Stevens, 7th dan Aikido Sensei, Author

“Like Zen, Aikido can sometimes be quite tough. Continue to practice even if it becomes difficult. Continue to practice even if it feels like nothing is happening. Because it is.” ~ Paula “Rei Kiku” Femenias Aikidoka, Zen Roshi

“Each day when off the mat, train your tanden: Relax, then focus attention in your  tanden for 30 seconds, toning the muscles around it and remembering that you intend to embody both love and power in your life.“ ~ Bill Licht, 1st dan Urban Visions, Peace Dojos Int., Aiki-Extensions

www.theintegraldojo.com 19


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE

“Passion, that’s perhaps the most important part. Training is also important. Lots and lots of training. But training that’s driven by the passion to really hear the whisper of divine nature.” ~ Rev. Lawrence Koichi Barrish Aikido Sensei, Shinto Priest

“Don’t ever quit. The further you push yourself, the greater the value, and the stronger a person you will become. With each day, you will be better than you were the day before.”
 ~ Lenny Sly

Aikido Sensei, “The Rogue Warriors” Youtube Channel

“Know what you are trying to achieve in your training and measure every-thing against that. Knowing exactly what you want out of your training will speed up your learning. It will give you a measuring stick for everything you see, hear, and do.” ~ Quentin Cooke, 7th dan

Aikido Sensei, VP Aiki-Extensions

www.theintegraldojo.com 20


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE

“You can point to the moon, you can point to Mars, you can point to the universe. But ultimately, when we are talking about a path, you have to walk it. Understand why you are training, and work to develop it.” ~ Vince Salvatore, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“This depends on who is asking, but for someone in Aikido for a few years I would say “Try to enjoy your practice”. ~ Miranda Saarentaus, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“Be consistent in your training. Commitment is everything. Be committed to your consistency. Don't make easy excuses for not training. Come rain or shine, always train.” ~ Bjorn Saw, 5th dan Aikido Sensei

www.theintegraldojo.com 21


ON COMMITMENT TO PRACTICE

"Train in a friendly and concentrated atmosphere. Follow the teacher and give up what you know. Don’t block or teach your partner. This will help everyone in the dojo to progress: ukes, nages and the sensei.” ~ Peter Menke, 4th dan Aikido Sensei

“Trust that the essence of Aikido is buried in the basic kihon. There are no shortcuts. Practice, study, and go deep. I believe by simply training in this way, Aikido will bring positive change in your life.” ~ Don Ellingsworth, 5th dan

Aikido Sensei

"This path is dangerous. If you allow life to touch your heart you need to know the taste of good and bad. Have no fear.” Thorsten Shoo, 6th dan Aikido Sensei 

www.theintegraldojo.com 22


ON INQUIRY & SELF REFLECTION Inquiry and Self-Reflection are as old as humanity itself. In fact, the capacity to reflect on ourselves is the very thing that makes us human. From time immemorial we have looked outward to the stars, and inward to our consciousness asking those eternal questions; “Who Am I?”, and “How Am I To Live?” These are the very questions that evolve us forward as human beings. It is through the simple act of Inquiry that we move towards our greater potential and the trajectory of that movement is none other than a PATH. So it is very fitting that the following teachers see AI-KI-DO, the Path Of Harmony With Life Energy, as a Path of Inquiry and Self-Reflection. 23


ON INQUIRY & SELF-REFLECTION


“Approach Your Aikido as constant learning. Try to keep reminding yourself that you don’t know as much as you pretend, or think you know.” ~ Robert Frager, 7th dan Aikido Sensei, Sufi Sheik, Psychologist

“Keep your practice fresh with the quality of “selfreflection”. Integrating self-reflection with the movement, and technical aspects of the art is critical. Remember, self-reflection.” ~ Teja “Fudo Myo” Bell, 5th dan

Aikido Sensei, Qigong, Zen Roshi

“I would say that the periods of reflection and verbal de-brief. Reflect and create “bridging practices” that are non-challenging and can be deliberately incorporated into your life.” ~ Mark Walsh Embodiment Facilitator

www.theintegraldojo.com 24


ON INQUIRY & SELF-REFLECTION


“Reach deep within yourself and explore your motivation and inspiration for choosing the art. What compels you to practice, and what do you hope to embody in your life? Then stay open and watch your understanding mature and evolve.” ~ Patrick Cassidy, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“Remain in the inquiry of "why Aikido?” Then do your best to practice with what ever comes up.” ~ Dave Goldberg, 5th dan Aikido Sensei

“Keep examining what it means to practice Aikido. How can I practice Aikido - merging, uniting, and unifying in everyday life. Moment by moment. Then go beyond that as much as you can. So you actually never feel that you are done.” ~ Eran “Junryu” Vardi, 6th dan Aikido Sensei, Zen Roshi

www.theintegraldojo.com 25


ON INTEGRATION If the true nature of the universe is Oneness, then how can you reconcile the infinite number of things you see around you? But like the integral saying goes, “if you can see it out there, then you can find it in here.” Mastery in Aikido absolutely requires that you develop the ability to take multiple perspectives. Because it is a simple fact that if you cannot relate to a perspective in yourself, you will never be able to relate to it in another. You will never be able to do Aikido with someone who holds that perspective. Aikido is a continuous, and constant practice of integrating more and more perspectives. Forever towards wholeness! 26


ON INTEGRATION
 “Be present. Settle, open, and allow. Move in balance between active and receptive, masculine and feminine. Be present and include the physical. Allow the energies that come into you, and let them move. Open to the idea that these energies want to mix into a fuller You.” 


~ Robert Nadeau, 8th dan Aikido Sensei

“Think properly about inside and outside. Use Aikido as a tool to better understand the relationship between interior and exterior.” ~ Dirk Mueller, 6th dan

Aikido Sensei

“Some students practice hard but never think about Aikido. Other students think a lot about Aikido, but stop as soon as they think they got it. I want my students to stay on the leading edge by finding that balance between being analytical, and practicing physically.” ~ Dr. Fred Phillips, PhD, 5th dan Aikido Sensei, Author

www.theintegraldojo.com 27


ON INTEGRATION
 “As ‘nage’, receive the attack with an uke frame of mind. Yielding to the energy and allow the natural manifestation of kaeshi waza to determine the path of resolution.” ~ Dan Messisco, 6th dan Aikido Sensei

“I think of Aikido as Agatsu, which is “self victory” or self transformation. This journey should be organized around the 3 pillars of Practice, Study, and Mentorship. This is the path of personal transformation and learning how to take ownership of your own Aikido.” ~ Josh Gold, 4th dan

Aikido Sensei, Aikido Journal

“Embrace the tension where 2 perspectives cannot exist in the same space at the same time. Embrace that space; with inner awareness, enduring patience, and applied skill. Create the inner container and the external skillful means to hold that tension… and evolution will just happen.” ~ Miles Kessler, 6th dan

Aikido Sensei, Meditation Teacher, The Integral Dojo www.theintegraldojo.com 28


iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii If you enjoyed these #1 Teaching Tips then check out the complete “Aikido At The Leading Edge” Tele-Summit Archives. 46 of the world’s top Aikido teachers share decades of Aikido Wisdom just for you!

TAKE A LOOK WHAT’S INSIDE:

hhhhhh hhhhhh www.theintegraldojo.com 29


hhhhhh hhhhhh hhhhhh hhhhhh www.theintegraldojo.com 30


hhhhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhhhh WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE ALE TELE-SUMMIT: “Wowwowwowwowwowwow!!! This is our generation's equivalent of Stan Pranin's First Aiki Friendship Demonstrations.” ~ David Rubens - Aikido Sensei “Thanks a lot Miles for such a unique event. So much Quality, so much Quantity.” ~ Christoph Stangier “I'm grateful to you and what you have given not just the Aikido community, but the collective consciousness as well.” ~ Matt Rogers Fluty - Aikido Sensei “What a great success! Many thanks for making such a rich resource available to the aikido community!” ~ Kai Morgan - Blogger “What a gift! Simply..... magic. This tele summit is super-food; giving a shot of deepnutrition to our emerging, global, Aikido community.” ~ Dawn Higgins “Oh my goodness, this continues to be so good! You have proven that when you get a bunch of aikidoka together good stuff is bound to happen!” - Jeff Dowdy “Miles deserves a Gold Star for his creation!” ~ Steve Rockett “It is fantastic! I think you are making Aikido history. Thank you very much Miles!” ~ Andrea Ebert

GO HERE TO CHECK OUT "AIKIDO AT THE LEADING EDGE” COMPLETE TELE-SUMMIT ARCHIVES www.theintegraldojo.co

31


NOTES

www.theintegraldojo.com 32

50 aikido experts  

Aikido experts sharing their #1 practice tip.

50 aikido experts  

Aikido experts sharing their #1 practice tip.

Advertisement