Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Archaic Chinese - Not normal, different

As I continue writing I am more and more drawn to the ancient symbols that the modern language evolved out of.

Last night I was working a little bibliomancy. Basically I flipped through the calligraphy dictionary until a symbol jumped out at me. This was it, appropriately for me ,the magician Sensei Strange, the symbol means 'not normal, different.'

This is an old style coming from divination shells and bones of the ancient Chinese magi from 2500 years ago. It is terribly tricky to write, but in the last couple weeks I feel like I have been getting the knack.

How does this symbol apply to my aikido thinking? It IS my aikido thinking. Do you know what made Kano, Tomiki, Ueshiba great artists? They tackled material and it morphed in their hands. They evolved it, they classified it and thought about it differently than anyone had before. They were not normal thinkers.

Normal is average. I demand more then average from my art. I do not want to be a cookie cutter aikibudoka, a mere photocopy of a master before me.


  1. Heh. I used to have a button that read, "Why be normal?"

    It's certainly good to push to be beyond the ordinary. But there is always a price to pay. For you, that price may not be too high. There are others, though, for whom the price of training that many hours in a day may be too high--and for those people, eventually being as good as the guy teaching them may be "good enough."

    Fortunately for us all, the martial arts are broad enough to include people of each sort.

  2. Of course.

    I am only in charge of my own path. I encourage my students and try to give them every opportunity. At the end of the day though most of them have something more important to go do than train. Fair enough.

    I will be in the dojo when they need me.