Shadow Boxing

I felt dismayed. In the midst of preparing for my first aikido test—consisting of 10 techniques—I made the mistake of asking one of the black belts what you had to do for the shodan (1st degree black belt) test. Before the next class, he approached me with a sly grin and handed me a ream […]

Hyperventilating (On Purpose)

Surrounded by snow drifts with an icy river trickling nearby, the assembly under the pavilion swung their swords and gasped for breath. Was the outdoor practice too vigorous? Was hypothermia setting in? None of the above. Actually, we were deliberately hyperventilating. Why?

A Meditation on Meditation

Introspection Comes to America “Turn off your mind Relax and float downstreamIt is not dyingIt is not dying” I was 13 and the sound coming through my AM radio was like nothing I’d ever heard. Some Indian drone instrument crescendoed to an in-your-face repeating drum riff pounding like a cart with a missing wheel careening […]

Change and Breathing

Change is never easy; let alone the perpetual change we face in 2020. While taking a moment to brew coffee, I discovered an alternative to anxiety and uncertainty.

Cutting Class

One passionate Aikidoka sets out to complete 10,000 cuts with either jo or bokken. Can she do it? Will you accept the challenge?

All Tied Up – Musubi part 2

In my last post I discussed two Japanese words–awase and musubi— are slightly different concepts of connecting with a partner’s energy. I focused on musubi, which means “knot.” As uke (attacker, receiver of the technique), I can feel when my attack gets tied to what nage (thrower) is doing, either by a slight loss of […]

Bound to Connect: Musubi Part 1

Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Although it is practiced around the world, its cultural context is important. From the uniform to the technical terminology, aikido comes with cultural nuance.


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