…in the shoden…


…doing nothing…

The world needs new, different ideas.  It needs forces to develop, which are opposed to man’s warlike instincts,  in order to re-establish an equilibrium that was broken several thousand years ago.

I had gone to the mountains close to Hachiman-cho, in Gifu prefecture, to visit a Japanese friend of mine.  This gentleman is both an internationally famous musician,  and an archeologist specializing in musical instruments of the Jomon period.  He took me to visit a wonderful poetry dojo, in a little village by the name of Yamato, and he told me about the times when Japan was still a country where women were dominant.  He drew the contrast between that peaceful era, marked by flourishing poetry, and the period following the arrival of the horse.  He said, “When man got up on a horse, he became a warrior, and the real culture was wiped out.”  His evocation of the times when women were in control of Japan, reminded me of our druidesses, of our fairies, and of their powerful influence. The emotion in his voice, the precision of the words he chose, the nostalgia behind his eyes, all resonated deeply within me.

This meeting reminded me of a piece of advice that my teacher once gave me regarding my training. At a time that I was trying to figure out what to do to gain speed and power in the execution of my techniques,  I had arrived at the conclusion that I could only achieve this by becoming more flexible in my movement.  Becoming more flexible means for us exercising less constraint on our partner, and less intentional control of our own movement. When I asked him how I should go about achieving this, Sensei answered me: “Starting today, you must train as much as possible with women.”  The advice appeared to me to offer a paradoxical solution, because the truth is that I still believed in strength, even though I was trying not to use it,  and in particular I believed that more speed must also mean better muscle-tone.  I did what Sensei said, however, and I was astonished, after several months, to find my practice changing. I was putting less force into my movements, and in this way I was reducing my tension,  saving energy,  which I was then able to put into speed of movement.  And more than just the fact that I had achieved my  objective,  I was able to see several other ways in which I had changed. I was giving more freedom to my uke, without losing the least bit of effectiveness. And I was free-er, myself,  when I was uke.  In fact,  all round, I was less tense in every interaction. I was able to see, too, that my relationships with other people – even away from the tatami – had become more harmonious.  I had come to give more place to the “other” inside the thing that hitherto I had considered “myself”, but which,  by this very change,  I now found transformed.

- – - André Cognard Shihan (So-Shihan of Aikido Kobayashi Ryu and designated successor to Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan),  Vivre sans ennemi, pp. 149-51

O’Sensei no kuden: in-yo(5)

This attainment of “not doing” can become central to all the happy discoveries of your existence.

- – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, recorded by André Nocquet Shihan in his Hombu training diary, 1955-57. Published in Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message p.207

…a light touch…


…doing nothing(2)…

In a lot of old martial, yogic, internal practices they talk about the water- or the moon-path and that’s  [what André Cognard Shihan is talking about,  and what Kobayashi Shihan told him to explore].

So often males, especially, start with a fire-path: very yang, and “do, do, do…”, and they’ll also push their body to dissolve resistances, and often they end up injuring themselves because they put all this kundalini force through the body.  It’s not so …   it’s not very good. Actually – it’s very much a willful activity. And since we’re trying to find ourselves as an expression of the will of the universe,  this water-path – this cool energy path – is very important.

Tonight,  we were talking about how we touch the wall, et cetera, getting a non-collisional echo, so that we move to sensing the real experience, instead of the reflection of an echo off of things  This is very important: as long as you’re reactive you tend to be brittle. And so we want to eliminate that and become so fluid that we have uncompromisable adaptability, and so that we don’t have some aspect of personality or consciousness that  stops us from really embracing and absorbing the sensation and  co-creating with it all the time.

So, in essence, by being soft we are able to access “doing nothing”.

- – - Kimbal Anderson Sensei

…Michio Hikitsuchi Shihan: seeing your partner’s ki…

In training,  O’Sensei would teach you to look at your partner’s ki.   Seeing your partner’s ki is to perceive your partner in his totality.  Seeing in this way allows you to absorb your partner’s spirit at the same time as his body – from the head down to the feet.  This is [all] hard.  [For instance]: you cannot wait for your partner’s attack – you have to acquire the ability to perceive instantaneously your partner’s suki,  and his [very first] intention to attack…

- – - Michio Hikitsuchi Shihan,   retrieved from Page française sur Hikitsuchi Michio Sensei 10e Dan,  December 12th, 2014

…shii no ha…

A monkey cries -
from the rocks where it lives
amidst swirling clouds
and in the treetops, scraggly leaves
of scrub oak are shaken by the rain

- – - Shotetsu

Peter has a show with his sound design…

…performing:  Narwhal! Unicorn of the Sea, November 25th – December 20th, at Boise Contemporary Theater



…and he is producing and performing in one of the happiest performances for Christmas in Boise: the Christmas Interludes’ production of A Christmas Carol available for your home or office party, December 3rd – 24th.


Public Performances:


The Mode Lounge, Sunday, December 21st, 7:00 pm

$12 at the door, reservations: (208) 830-6657


The movie ‘Bluebird Man’ with Rebeca’s music…

…will have a screening at  The MK Nature Center in Boise,  on Monday, January 12th;  and at the Wild And Scenic Film Festival  in Nevada City, CA, January 15th – 18th.Prairie-BBT-9294crop


Rebeca’s latest CD, Mostecelo, is…
mostecelo2here …and a preview of the upcoming here!

A change of optic:

Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:

what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…

what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers ( hand-picked deshi,  some of them raised, almost, as members of his family) – - – and ex-Kamikaze pilots, too (!) – often with his own name on the sign -  in places – and close to shrines…

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