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15 May 2007 12:45 - 16 Jan 2009 11:56 #2147 by Garm
Replied by Garm on topic Aikido
excellent post Mouse, Seems that there is much more to the hakama than I realized, The clubs I belonged to in the past have been primarily heavy into compitition and I have discovered recently, only brushed on the traditions. From this day forward, every time I step into mine I will be reminded of your article and the significance behind the garment.

Lenny O.C.P.
Last edit: 16 Jan 2009 11:56 by Garm.

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15 May 2007 15:54 #2154 by Justice
Replied by Justice on topic Aikido
Great post, Mouse. Shows how many times history is forgot about in the modern day's rush to appear a certain way. I never knew all that information about the hakama. The meanings of the 7 folds really stood out to me. Thank you again for posting this information.

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16 May 2007 16:10 #2192 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
i ame glade you engoyed it. I feaill that wear things come frome and the mening behind things we dow inportent to now.
yes Aikido is a marshal art but that is onley won side of it some say a smaill side others a bige side it depends on the person and how long theay hav ben studing and wot stage of devalpment theay are at and thear techer. wotevear the reasion you have for starting aikido excersise, selfe defence, to biled comfindce, drown to the speritail side, wot evear theay are all good reasons and as indivegeaill as the pepeaill you fined in the art.
and we inqorge all thows resons somwon may have. as long as theay are not learing so theay can go beat sombudey up or to do compitchens. the sicetey of aikido i belong to is aikika witch is sead to be the orignaill school tot bay the Ushiba famley and we donot agree with or aprove of compitchen.
i have onley resentley become a dojo head witch is a big responsibelety. i ame no longer just a techear i ame now responsabell for thows i tech. it is now may responsibeltey to give theam infermation and to gide theam. it is quite scarey tell you the truth it maks me feaill kined of like a mom lol and ask mayself all kinds of questons to may salfe. dow i teching theam to fast or to slow, is this prrson unhapey how can i give theam wot theay are loking for evean wean theay dont now wot theay are loking for, ame i sending theam down a good path fore theam or not, and meney meney more. but this is somthing i have ben grumed for since i was 16 at least that is wean theay toled me wot theay wear gruming me for.
I will make mistacks smaill wones and big ones some times i may make a foul out of may salfe other times i may make may selfe look vearey good this wil all hapen and i expect it to hapen. i ame not entering in to this blined at least i donot think i ame :dry: .
sorey for mau long rambell i hope you donot mined i fined teling others that have no expactachens in me a way to ease may mined some times.

hear is won of the founders writens i like this one

Eight forces sustain creation:
Movement and stillness,
Solidification and fluidity,
extension and contraction,
unification and division

wot it means to me
Eight forces sustain creation:
things that make the worled run and will always be thear

Movement and stillness,
movement= cayotck, bisey, worlel wind type of energy.
stillness= come, quiet, pecfull kined of energey.

Solidification and fluidity,
solidificaton= things that stay the same.
fluidity= things that change

extension and contraction,
extension=retch out to share your salfe.
contraction= lern to tack in.

unification and division
unification= coming togther, working well together
division= i dont like this one but things haf to end inorder for ohers to grow.

this is just may opean on it and may poean may change in a weak or year or in that time i may nolongear now wot it means to me .
everay won has to fined thar own mening.

thankyou little mouse in the corner.:P

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16 May 2007 16:16 #2193 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
i ame glade you engoyed it. I feaill that wear things come frome and the mening behind things we dow inportent to now.

yes Aikido is a marshal art but that is onley won side of it some say a smaill side others a bige side it depends on the person and how long theay hav ben studing and wot stage of devalpment theay are at and thear techer. wotevear the reasion you have for starting aikido excersise, selfe defence, to biled comfindce, drown to the speritail side, wot evear theay are all good reasons and as indivegeaill as the pepeaill you fined in the art.

and we inqorge all thows resons somwon may have. as long as theay are not learing so theay can go beat sombudey up or to do compitchens. the sicetey of aikido i belong to is aikika witch is sead to be the orignaill school tot bay the Ushiba famley and we donot agree with or aprove of compitchen.

i have onley resentley become a dojo head witch is a big responsibelety. i ame no longer just a techear i ame now responsabell for thows i tech. it is now may responsibeltey to give theam infermation and to gide theam. it is quite scarey tell you the truth it maks me feaill kined of like a mom lol and ask mayself all kinds of questons to may salfe. dow i teching theam to fast or to slow, is this prrson unhapey how can i give theam wot theay are loking for evean wean theay dont now wot theay are loking for, ame i sending theam down a good path fore theam or not, and meney meney more. but this is somthing i have ben grumed for since i was 16 at least that is wean theay toled me wot theay wear gruming me for.

I will make mistacks smaill wones and big ones some times i may make a foul out of may salfe other times i may make may selfe look vearey good this wil all hapen and i expect it to hapen. i ame not entering in to this blined at least i donot think i ame .

sorey for mau long rambell i hope you donot mined i fined teling others that have no expactachens in me a way to ease may mined some times.

hear is won of the founders writens i like this one

Eight forces sustain creation:
Movement and stillness,
Solidification and fluidity,
extension and contraction,
unification and division

wot it means to me

Eight forces sustain creation:
things that make the worled run and will always be thear

Movement and stillness,
movement= cayotck, bisey, worlel wind type of energy.
stillness= come, quiet, pecfull kined of energey.

Solidification and fluidity,
solidificaton= things that stay the same.
fluidity= things that change

extension and contraction,
extension=retch out to share your salfe.
contraction= lern to tack in.

unification and division
unification= coming togther, working well together
division= i dont like this one but things haf to end inorder for ohers to grow.

this is just may opean on it and may poean may change in a weak or year or in that time i may nolongear now wot it means to me .

everay won has to fined thar own mening.

thankyou little mouse in the corner.

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27 May 2007 21:10 #2609 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
hear is another articaill that i realey ingoyed and wont to share i hope you ingoy it to.


Martial arts have traditionally been the domain of the strong male. Despite the stories of mythic woman warriors who rode with the boys and fought alongside them as equals and even superiors, this was always the exception rather than the rule. Samurai women were taught to protect themselves and their families yet how many of us can name any of these fighting women? No, it’s pretty much a boys club and the few females who get let in are the ones able to play as the boys do.

There are probably more women doing Aikido on a percentage basis than any other martial art, although that would be just a guess, I have never seen figures on this. Despite their wide participation, which goes back to the early days in the 1930’s in Aikido’s development, women are notoriously absent from positions of prominence in Aikido. I know of no female instructors who have regularly taught at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo. In it’s hard to find any woman acting in the capacity of dojo cho in Japan, regardless of what organization one is referring to.

The contribution of the wives of the prominent instructors are sometimes alluded to when the Shihan recount their young days as uchideshi but then only in reference to their caretaking roles even though many of these wives trained as well. One almost never hears reference to women in terms of their skill on the mat.

Not until one leaves Japan does one encounter significant female presence in the ranks of those teaching the art. But even overseas, the leadership of virtually all Aikido organizations is almost entirely male. Woman may have significant responsibility, and in fact be indispensable to the various organizations, but their efforts are largely in support of the male leadership of these organizations.

I believe that Aikido should be different. I think that few would maintain that its raison d’etre is imparting fighting skills to the public yet we continuously use a performance standard which places, not just women, but the less athletic, and the elderly of both sexes at a disadvantage when compared with the young male practitioners of the art.

Recently a book on Aikido appeared in which the author, a senior Aikido practitioner, stated that any fourth kyu male in his dojo could take any woman in Aikido in a fight. The sheer lack of sensitivity it took to make such a statement tends to hide the fact that it also shows a complete misunderstanding of what Aikido is all about.

First of all, Aikido is not a combat art as normally taught. The techniques of our art are derived from a system which was taught to members of the samurai class and only make real sense when considered, not as a comprehensive empty-hand fighting system, but as part of a wider system which assumed that both the practitioner and his enemy were armed. When the equalizing effects of weaponry is removed as a factor, a distinct advantage is had by the student who is more physically powerful and can over power his adversary. This advantage exists until the opponent reaches a very high level of technical skill at which time attempts to use that type of physical power would no longer have any advantage but would rather be a detriment to the strong but not as skilled practitioner. If one were to look at Aikido from a true combat standpoint in which the practitioners were armed there would be a great equalizing factor between men and women and pure physical power would be secondary to smooth and quick movement and an understanding of openings.

Since normal practice of Aikido is done empty handed (unless one is doing actual weapons training), a distinct advantage is had by those of larger stature and more aggressive disposition in terms of overcoming their partners. The problem here is, of course, that Aikido isn’t primarily about overcoming one’s partner. Masakatsu Agatsu is the term the Founder used to describe the point of Aikido training. “True Victory is Self Victory” is clearly not about how to defeat some outside enemy but rather it’s about dealing with our own internal demons. When O-Sensei said Aikido is the True Budo, he didn’t mean that Aikido was the most bad-assed fighting system. He meant that Aikido was, in his mind, the fullest expression of the aspect of Budo which teaches us how to live fully, to see ourselves as caretakers rather than destroyers.

The Dan system was originally set up in an attempt to assure that a certain quality level was maintained in the art. The real problem with this was that the system tended to focus on only one set of criteria, the technical, martial side of the art has been greatly favored over other factors and not to the overall benefit of the art. We are all familiar, I am sure with various high-level teachers who, while having a certain relatively high level of technical expertise and martial ferocity in no way embody the basic values which we would like to incorporate into our lives. Just as in the case of measuring intelligence in which the focus on the IQ has given way to a recognition that there are actually multiple types of intelligence and that a given individual could excel in one and be quite ordinary in another, our Aikido hierarchy needs to better reflect the different contributions one can make in an art which has so many facets.

I met a woman just recently who had started Aikido well after her fiftieth birthday. She has now been training for well over ten years and feels that Aikido has changed her life. In an Aikido world which only values strength of technique and difficult ukemi this person has no real status. Yet her age, while making it difficult to train as physically as the young folks do, gives such a depth to her practice that she is in a position to address in a meaningful way all sort of folks for whom instruction from someone like myself would have less relevance.

There are all sorts of Aikido teachers out there who are quite capable of going toe to toe with some hypothetical aggressor but who lack the ability to speak in any meaningful way to the hearts of a group of students whose needs don’t really encompass daily requirements for self defense techniques. There are a quite large and growing number of teachers who, while not being terribly interested in the martial application side of the art, are taking technique into whole new realms of exploration and can provide great insight into the connection between physical technique and the spiritual side of the practice. Many of these teachers are female instructors who have run dojos for years and have a tremendous depth of teaching experience, often bringing students into the art who would never have been interested in training in the more macho world of traditional martial arts including much Aikido.

This is not to say that there aren’t women who have successfully gone toe to toe with the men in their training and succeeded. Virginia Mahew, Pat Hendricks, Mary Heiny, Lorraine Dianne, Patty Saotome, etc. all managed to get ahead in the male dominated hierarchy of Aikido. But this shouldn’t be how we measure success. Women should not have to measure their worth according to their ability to be “like the guys.” To insist on this is to place only secondary emphasis on the contributions which they make well in excess of what their male counter parts often make.

It has been my experience that women are generally more interested in the social/relational aspects of the art than in the martial. The community bond between dojo members is often created more through the efforts of a group of female students within a dojo than by those of the men. It has been my experience that the women within a dojo are far better at nurturing students who are emotionally damaged or are physically less confident.

In the absence of a different way of recognizing the wide-ranging nature of accomplishments and contributions, the Dan system should be administered in such a way that equal recognition is given to those that are contributing to the growth of the art in any such substantial way. The female instructors who have well over thirty years of experience in both training and teaching but who still find themselves down a rank or two below their equally experienced male counter parts should be brought up to parity. There should be more female instructors on the seminar circuit. The high-level teachers should go out of their way to include senior females as well as males as ukes. It makes a strong and very public statement about the support they can expect from their organizations.

No more should we encounter the dojo which places the male students at the top of the technical and hierarchical heap while the women, all ranked in the second tier, do all of the organizational and administrative work thereby actually keeping the school going for the men. No more should we recognize the accomplishments of women only to the extent that they resemble those of the men but also for the unique contributions they can make which perhaps most of the men can’t or won’t.

Aikido must be inclusive to accomplish what the Founder saw as its essential mission of bringing people together. People may have exceptional talents teaching children, they may be exceptionally nurturing to those of us who have been damaged in various ways. We will find those individuals who have great insight into the spiritual side of the art and they may not be the ones who are best able to show how to handle a roundhouse kick to the head. Instructors should make it a priority to create a new generation of instructors both male and female, young and old, who are empowered to make their own explorations of what Aikido can become and our organizations should support these teachers in following their visions. It is only by doing this that Aikido can grow in such a way that it is both inclusive and has the elements which a widely divergent group of practitioners requires.

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03 Jun 2007 00:20 #2896 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
i have come acrost a coletchon of aikido videoes some are good som are not so good. the ones that are good represent aikido quite well. theay alsow have quiteafouw of the founder. agen i ingoyed thean and wonted to share tack a look if you wont.
video.google.com/videoplay?docid=638489451693353390

enqoy
mouse

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03 Jun 2007 13:54 #2911 by Jedi Binah
Replied by Jedi Binah on topic Aikido
Personally, I have not previously practiced any form of martial arts, though it seems from reading that most practicioners implement various forms at different times and during different circumstances. Hence, I'm wondering of the suitability of Tai-Chi, another form of defensive martial art. Thoughts?

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04 Jun 2007 01:44 #2922 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
wot i tell aney won how comes to may school and how is not shore about wot marchal art theay wont to studey.
i tell theam that not all martchal arts are sueat to all pepeaill. thear is not 1 that is berear than the othear. theay all have thrae good points and thear bad points and non are right or rong theay are just difrent.
the trick is to fined one that sutes you best. most schooles will alow you to tack a class or 2 for free so you can see wot it is about. the best thing to dow is to fined out wot difrent types of schooles are in your area. go tray theam out and speck to the techear and the students so you can get an idea of how that piticural school runes.
another inportent thing to rembear is not all schooles of the same art are the same theay all have difrent techers difrent students so the dynamicks and feaill of eatch plase will difear gratley.
so tray to keep an open mined and lock arouned and aventley you will fined a art and school that sutes you and your persnalety and belefeas

i now that is not of grat halpe but onley you can deside wot you like and wot suts you .
good luck and have fun with it
mouse

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06 Jun 2007 01:47 #2971 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
i have ben toled i hafe to studey no mined a bit more closley so i thout i woued share so of it with you.

from wot i have lernt a good way to start is bay lerning soft eyes . soft eyes is:
Eye contact is one of the best and easiest ways to establish contact and connection to another person. bat this you can often tell how another is feeling or something about how another person thinks. People express and betray themselves by thear eyes.
You can devaloup soft eyes naturally by not really looking at anything. it is looking through somwon. it is not a bistant gazing that inhibets the abilrty to see closeby. Iti is mor like observing whatever coms into your field of vision without attaching to any of it. this allows you to use your peripheral vision that detects movement faster than the usual focused vision.

so wontce you are abel to consinstley dow soft eye's you can start to dow the same thing with your mined:

calm and empty mined. empty ushley means void of all content. so way woued someone consciusly and purposely dowe this.
the old metaphor would say that the mind is best when it is open and empty. when it is empty it is receptive to new ideas and can be filled. a mined already full cannot learn new things.
after we have lernet somthing we must let it go in order to learn more.
but becos you have lernt it you retain the lesson. we never actually forget anything. one records, recognizes, retrieves, and rememders everything one experiences. it is only our attachments to old lerning that is released so that new learing and information can come in. that is why a mind held open and empty can best learn and respond to any situation, because it is not attached to old ways of thinking and old patterns of responding.
It is a mind free of thought. an empty mind is erff to be externally awaer and adaptive in its responsivenerr. empty dos not mean dormant or vacant, it means no-thing. the mind fills with no-thing-ness not nothingness. it is not fixated or preoccupied with anything in particular. this allows the mind to detect, assess, decide, respond, and move without becoming stuck.
Before one studies aikido, movement is just movement. these movements often amanifest without much thought. As a beginning and intermeadiate student,the movements of aikido become a scince. each movement, well thought-out, following the prescridib steps. eventually, the advanced student just moves without much thought. this time the movement is very different from the ogiginal untrained movement.
a mind that is empty allows the advanced student to maintain external awareness and responsiveness. since thoughts creat feelings, without thoughts the advanced student remains calm and has peace of mind.
Psychologically, the mind creats our difficulties. it is not the outsid world. but the inside world of our own creation, that hurts us. Fear is an internal negative fantasy. anger is hurt created by taking things personallt. (yes i now how yoda that sounds it is not ment to be)
when you are happy and you are most creative, your mind is quiet. when one focuses on and attaches to aegative feelings, one's mind creates negativity and is overactive. Since the body follows the mind, mental training and discipline are the best way to control both the emotional and physical states of mind.
to get to no mined one must first accept that we create our own thoughts. we create our own mind. we can choose to change the content of our minds. we can choose to think positively rather than negatively. we can choose to be love-based rather than fear-based. we can choose to change the pace at which we think. allowing our minds to function slowlty. we gain more clarity. as we gain control of our mind, we can become a spectator or odserver of its workings. soon we can calm the mind and feel comfortable in its quiet stillness. learn to sit with a quiet mind. learn to walk with a quiet mind. learn to act with a quiet mind. learn to let go and be empty.


i now not everay one ingoys this kined of thing but i dow i have grow up with it and lernt to realey ingoy it.
it is a big part of me of how i ame. and it is wot i have ben toled to studey as of last weak lol.
so i hope you donot mined me sharing it.in dowing so it halps me to learn it and forget it lol

thanks agen
mouse

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29 Jul 2007 04:10 #4857 by Mouse
Replied by Mouse on topic Aikido
hear i ame agen with another articail i engoyed i hope some will engoy it to. and may show you way i ame constlety saying that this hear is vearey much like wot alout teach and beleve in aikido


Preface

There are many different ways to understand Aikido philosophy and perceive, utilize, and benefit from energy. What I offer here is one of many ways. Indeed when I do other kinds of activities I perceive of and work with energy in quite a different manner. What follows is my experience of energy while performing Aikido over the course of more than twenty years. Certainly there are likely to be many other Aikido practitioners that would explain their experiences and beliefs in a manner that is somewhat different than mine. I offer you here, one experience, my experience, and thus all that I say is part of my belief system, and not at all necessarily THE truth.

Aikido

Aikido is a Japanese martial art, and it does not have an attack form. We do not kick, punch, or in any other manner, attempt to hurt our opponent.

The meaning of Aikido:

\"Ai\" To gather or harmonize.

\"Ki\" Universal life force/energy.
This is the energy that we share with nature and all living beings.

\"Do\" An artful path of discovery.

\"Aikido\" An artful path of discovering how to gather and harmonize the energy of the universe.

When we sense and move with the energy that is manifesting throughout the universe we find that we have a greater ability to live a life that is healthy and fulfilling.

\"Ki\"

In Aikido we believe that all human beings utilize and share a common energy source (ki) that helps to run and maintain our environment as well as our individual human systems. We believe that since we all share a common energy source, that in some important way we are all truly members of the same family, and truly sharing our lives with all of nature. We do not have an attack form in Aikido, because attacking an opponent would be like attacking a family member that you love. Attacking an opponent would also be like attempting to damage the flow of Universal energy in the world, and such acts are likely to have many far reaching consequences.

In the Japanese language words that use the concept of \"ki\" are common.
\"Gen-ki\" means \"root energy\" or one's \"personal health.\"
\"Ten-ki\" relates to \"heavenly energy\" or \"the weather.\"
\"Hon-ki\" relates to \"original energy\" or \"the truth.\"
\"Yuu-ki\" relates to \"brave energy\" or \"courage.\"
\"Ki o tsukete\" means \"attach your energy to what you are doing, or \"be careful.\"

The origin of ki?

Where does ki originate from? In Aikido the answer is poetic in nature rather than scientific. It is suggested that ki was \"born\" at the same instant as the rest of the universe, and that we are all born from the ki of the universe. Ki is considered to be an energy that we all have equal access to. It is an energy that courses through our system if we do not restrict it. In Aikido we believe that excess tension physically and emotionally, fear, hate, greed, and anger, all cut us off from the universal source of ki. Our daily practice involves working at maintaining a balanced state physically and emotionally, and indeed, practicing ways to cultivate physical and emotional balance is much of what the study of Aikido is about. In Aikido physical and emotional balance are meant to be two sides of the very same coin. Physical balance helps to engender emotional balance and health, and vice versa as well. Often in my professional work with individuals I find myself first addressing the clients physical balance when they come wanting to resolve emotional issues, and I do the reverse as well. I often first address or explore how emotional imbalance might lead to the physical difficulties they are experiencing.

\"Ki signature\" mind, spirit-Energy manifests as spirit, spirit manifests as mind

Energy manifests within each individual as spirit, spirit manifests in each individual as mind. In some way that is a mystery to all of mankind, the freely available energy of the universe is transformed by each person into one's own unique \"ki signature\", spirit, mind. No two people have the same exact \"ki signature\", just as no two people have the same exact written signature. No two people have the same exact spirit, no two people have the same exact mind. The unique way that we each take in, utilize, and expend energy, can be considered to be our \"ki signature\", mind, or spirit. Each person starts with the same source of energy, and manifests this energy in a way that will never exactly be duplicated by any other human being.

Thought, body structure,and movement, shape the flow of ki, into spirit/mind

Think of the freely flowing water of a powerful river that comes upon a series of fairly large rocks spread out across the river bed and extend up beyond the water's surface. These rocks affect the flow of the river but they do not change the nature of the water itself. Ki flows through the river bed of our brain and body. Our thoughts, body structure and movements, are like the rocks in the river bed. These are the main elements that shape ki into individual mind, or spirit The flow of ki is uniquely transformed by each human being, but the nature of the ki itself, is not altered in the process. Just as the pattern of rocks spread out along the river bed is never exactly duplicated in any other place on earth, the pattern of our thoughts, body structure, and movement is also never exactly duplicated. All mind is similar, but no two minds are exactly alike.

A heartfelt understanding of the nature of our spirit will help us to create a healthy alignment of our thoughts, body structure, movements, and actions. When every aspect of our self is fully aligned we have a much greater ability to think, feel, and act in accordance with what is best for us in any given moment. We are better able to adapt and change in a manner that is supports the well being of our entire self and our surroundings.

The misnomers of \"mind-body\" and \"mind and body\"

A definition of \"mind\" that I often use it in my work, is the following:
\"Mind is a dynamic, self-organizing, creative system, capable of overcoming physical and temporal constraints. Mind uses and manufactures energy in order to support the self and one's surroundings, trade information, and adapt to change.\"

When considering this definition of mind, we can say that mind manifests equally in the body and in the brain in the skull. Because of this I believe that the terms \"mind-body\" or \"mind and body\" as used in the Western world, are somewhat missing the mark and tend to lead to a certain degree of misunderstanding. If you ask a Japanese person to point to their mind, usually they will point to the area of their heart, or they will point to their lower abdomen. If you ask the average Westerner to point to their mind they will point to their head. This is why I think the terms \"mind-body\" and \"mind and body\" were developed in the Western world. I believe that the average Western person thinks of the term \"mind\" in relation to \"thinking\" or \"thought\". Oriental philosophy considers \"mind\" to be immanent in both the body and the brain. In Aikido we say that we practice in order to calm the mind, by coordinating our thoughts, the actions of our body, and our breath. Or we say that we practice in order to further empower and actualize our mind by coordinating our thoughts, physical actions, breath, and spirit.

When looking to calm our mind we give our primary attention to calming our breath and our heart beat, which will tend to lead towards a relaxing of our musculature and a slowing down or cessation of our internal dialogue. If we calm our body we will tend to calm our cognitive thought processes. Calming the mind can also be accomplished by giving primary attention to the speed, rhythm, and tone of voice of our internal dialogue. If we calm our cognitive thought processes we will tend to calm the body. When we calm both our cognitive thought processes and our body, then we calm our mind. Cognitive mind and somatic mind are part of a recursive feedback loop. You can't affect one without affecting the other.

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from his thought-provoking ideas and a new self-help Practice every two weeks, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter on the website Seishindo: Accessing Your Body Wisdom. On the website, you can also find out more about Aikido Philosophy and the importance of understanding the internal language of your body

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