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One cookie with the tea
Saturday, 14. January 2012
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An AIKIDO impression by Axel Bergemann

It’s nice to be back in Japan.

I sit together with Shimizu Sensei and Birgit in the Tendokan office. In front of me a slim cup of tea and one cookie, in japanese style carefully packed.

A small bite and all of a sudden this tiny cookie catch’s me by surprise.

A flood of emotions comes over me. Like Krupuk it flits across my mind, but actually totally different. Only the smell of crab is similar. This time I don’t get trapped in my memories but return to the smell of this cookie while following up the conversation.

In the course of the chat I eat the cookie piece by piece, every time with attention and without loosing the thread.

Later on during AIKIDO training it’s time for Shiho-Nage with the attack Mune-tori (in a slightly changed form without grabbing but a strong arm). As trainings partner I could get hold of Kenta Waka-Sensei.

While training this technique I benefit from Waka-Sensei’s strong connection between his center and the arm. The points for improvement clearly show up, as I can feel them rather than being told about them, hence recognition by body experience not by brain.

After the training I go once again to Kenta Waka Sensei to get suggestion how to change, as the result of the training beforehand is not satisfying for me.

I try and try but can’t succeed in simply doing what I’m shown. May be I focus too much on improvement of details or do I immerse myself? May be two details, but all in all I should simply go on by taking into account these few details and being present.

On my way back to the accommodation I remember the cookie with the tea.

This one cookie achieved that I took care about it’s unique smell. It was one cookie and not a lot of cookies I’m used to simply eat if I’m at home. And it was easy going to simultaneously take attention to the cookie while following and participating in the conversation.

Unlike as I trained Shiho Nage. Apperently I expected too much of myself and this caused me to be not able to train empty minded.

With every stay in Japan it’s benefits my AIKIDO practise from daily life experience like the one told above even if it’s not AIKIDO training itself as the Japanese attitude towards life and the ‘small things of daily life’ provide insight from a different angle.