senseiOne of the greatest things about Aikido is that every technique has many layers and that every one contains several hidden secrets. The only way to reveal these secrets is to peel off each layer.  To peel off the layers, one must put in numerous hours of practice.  It is quite an interesting process as one delves deep down into a technique.  What worked at one level will be revealed to be obsolete.  Each layer brings with it more and more questions.  This might seem like a daunting task, but to me it is quite interesting.

When we begin, our training it is largely physical or what one might call jutsu (術) or technique or skill based.   As one becomes more experienced or, more importantly, more mature they start to see training not as a physical practice, but one that is an inward journey or do (道).

Every level has to be looked at with what they call in Buddhism,  "The beginners mind."  Suzuki Roshi said, “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."  People often misunderstand this quote to think that experts only have a singular emphasis, but that is looking at this quote the wrong way.  The beginner has a blank slate that is filled with curiosity and wonder while the expert can sometimes become jaded and have tunnel vision approach to things.

True power is more than merely knowing and lies in the depths of realization.  In order to see the depth of these Aikido techniques one must look past the primitiveness of just throwing people down and realize that Aikido is so much more than that.  Training reveals the true beauty of Aikido while simultaneously revealing the intricacies and sophistication of the techniques.