The endless expanse of the sky…

– – – by Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan

The endless expanse of the sky,  the unknown depths of the sea… The way beautiful, white clouds drift in the blue heavens… Lovely flowers in Spring, the young green leaves in early Summer, the power that is hidden in the green plants of Summer… The fiery sun, which slowly  makes its appearance above the horizon. In the evening red, the mountains glow – second by second – a different color… in Fall, the leaves go a crimson red… It is impossible to get to the bottom of telling the wonders of Nature. Anyone who is aware can feel this:  the beauty and power of Nature.  For Nature is creating…incessantly.

Now,  Aikido has no Kamae,  and this  is [precisely] because Aikido is so natural:  there is no reason to be prepared.  The idea that one is better than all the others, or that one  m u s t  be better than all the others: you will find that all this disappears, and one becomes one with Nature.  Then one is simply a part of God’s art.   And in that moment, the wondrous life-force (ki) and the human-being itself become united.  And this unification makes everything possible.

So a  great teacher [is one who] has the technique that is closest to Nature.  And Nature seems at first sight to be so soft and loving – like our mother – and in fact, the Earth  i s  our mother – nevertheless there is more than this gentle manner:  there is also an extremely hard side [to Nature].  And there is immense speed:  faster than lightning.

So we try to take  O’Sensei  as our model, and we take pains to train each day.  And even so we find, [time and time again,]  that we are very, very far from being good enough….

– – – Bu-Iku: Ritterlichkeits-Erziehung,  Yasuhiko Kunimoto,  tr. Kiyoko Furumoto , p.12

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