Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mike Taylor Sensei's Kagami Biraki Message 2013

Rising Star Aikido held it's annual Kagami Biraki ceremony on January 8th, 2013. The following message was read by Mike Taylor Sensei. It was based off of a conversation that took place a couple of days before between Mike Taylor Sensei and Wally Taylor Sensei. 

During this Kagami Biraki ceremony and celebration, observe not just everything that is done, but how it's done. Pay attention to details. Study the symbolism of the displays and the ceremonies that are conducted. Listen to what is said and absorb the meaning. Notice what is not said and understand the significance. It doesn't matter if this is your first  Kagami Biraki or if you've experienced this ceremony more times than you can remember, there will be something to learn.

I have often heard my instructors mention a quote that O Sensei would use. The exact quote has never been used to my knowledge, but the basic message is “If you're going to do Aikido, do Aikido. If you're going to dance, go dance”. What they are trying to convey is that Aikido is a martial art. In being a martial art, we must give it honest and sincere attention because the capability to injure is in our hands. Many people mistakenly call any martial art “Budo”. Budo is usually translated to “the martial way” or “The way of the warrior”. This is not entirely correct because there are many ways to interpret the word. If you break down the word Budo into symbols Bu uses the characters "tome" (stop) and "hoko" (spear/halbred), easily read as Stop the Weapon or Stop the fight. Do means “the way or the path”. Budo literally means “A way to stop the fight”.

O Sensei took this a step further when he developed Aikido. He said “Budo is not a means of felling the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world , as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form.
.Aikido does not rely on weapons or brute force to succeed; instead we put ourselves in tune with the universe, maintain peace in our own realms, nurture life, and prevent death and destruction. The true meaning of the term "samurai"is one who serves and adheres to the power of love.”

It is often said that O Sensei intended for Aikido to be a living art. Many times people interpret this to mean that Aikido is ever changing and is meant to be reinvented. This is not entirely the case. In creating Aikido, O Sensei combined some of the most vicious fighting arts available with morals, respect, and compassion to create a living art, an art that you can live your life by.

As we welcome this new year of training, use this ceremony to rededicate yourself to this art. Use it as a time to reflect on how you can take those steps to gain the confidence and courage to find your inner peace. Take the time to think of those who came before you and to thank those who are with you here today. They are the ones who will be offering you their bodies to assist you in your training, only asking that they be returned in the same condition that they were given. No one makes this journey on their own.

As O Sensei said “Aikido is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.”

Here's hoping for a safe and happy new year with our Rising Star Aikido family. May it continue to grow and prosper in 2013.

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