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from life. This is mainly through the Western influence; education and funding has changed how the world spends its time now. People like me are a dying breed. I cannot understand why people are blind to the value of practicing such arts as ours. Can they not see that the time spent on the mat will forge them as a person to handle anything that the world can throw at them? These are transferable life skills of immense quality and value. It is not just learning a martial art, even if the art is Aikido and of any style, as it develops qualities to make you live a more truthful life and become a pillar in the community, wherever you live and work. The hard training is worth doing; it forges a person to deal with whatever comes in life. Martial arts can offer you many opportunities in life to develop useful qualities such as: perception, awareness, confidence, patience, friendship, communication, adaptability, resilience, loyalty, reflection, humility, perspective, compassion, honesty, empathy, discipline, (external and self), humour, co-ordination (of mind and body), flexibility, intuition.

The Aiki Jinja (shrine) is located near to the Iwama dojo. It holds many powerful spirits; they will speak ‘if you are ready to listen’ - June 2002. Once, on a visit to Iwama, I trained with some young Japanese students just out of university. I asked why they were there and not in a job as this was the normal western path (to go to university then straight into a good job). The answer appears to be that many top Japanese business people, who run large conglomerates and may even own the company, would send their children to Iwama to forge them in the many ways that only a Master of a martial school can do; a preparation to take 66

Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  
Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  

A selection of pages from "Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido" by Tony Sargeant