Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beware of Falling Leaves

It's funny, looking at the barn in this picture you would never suspect what lies within. I think about this while sitting in the parking lot almost every day for a few months now, and it never gets old.

A large Ram truck pulls up, and a man dismounts. He's a Cowboy from his boots to his buckle to his hat. Most days you can see the horn of his saddle peeking out the pack of his dusty truck as he moseys inside the old barn.

Not long after that a Plumbers work truck arrives, the driver grabs his duffel bag and heads toward the same obscure door. A Jaguar glides in and a man dressed as someone who drives a Jaguar, also heads in with a bag after beeping his car alarm. Then a soccer mom in her minivan, a college student in his VW and a WitchDoctor dismounts his Harley, bringing up the rear.

Its always so surprising that no ones else in the busy gas station parking lot seems to notice something I would consider, quite odd. Its incredible how quickly and drastically the scenery and ambiance can change. Opening the door you first see shoes, lots of shoes. Then you begin to notice the mats and lattice. As you step in you smell jasmine incense and the faint prickle of flute music which often invokes memories of some poorly dubbed Kung Fu movie from the late eighties.

It unlike any other martial arts school you will ever encounter. There are no trophies accumulated but students from years of victorious competition. But there is an altar. I have come to appreciate the sanctuary of this hidden temple. It has become a holy of hollies for trans-personal growth.

I have advanced to the next level of learning, as indicated by my new fangled belt (insert big cheesy grin here). Last week I was having yet another difficulty with yet another technique, the hand motion in particular was comprehensible. My teacher again said, "stop, now close your eyes... imagine a large tree, now your hand is a leaf on that tree, new let it fall gently and gracefully to the ground..."

Anyone who knows me, or reads my Blog enough knows how incredibly significant the falling leaf is to my family and our tradition. *There are no coincidences* So after this lesson of spiritual insight, I again performed the technique, the very large two hundred fifty plus MMA fighter again came at me, but the leaf fell, gently and gracefully, and so did my large friendly attacker. But gently and peacefully, not so much...

(please insert a larger cheesier grin here)

Through my experiences in various forms of combat I have developed my own formula for success: Speed, Power & Accuracy are the three factors of a successful attack. The more Accuracy you have, the less Power you need, and so forth, you get the idea. But that was all wrong...


Its not about being strong or powerful, in fact the bigger and stronger you are, the harder and faster you come at an Aikidoka, the more devastating it is for you. The secret to power, is peace. The secret to strength, is softness.


That ones mine, you can quote me.

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