Mastering Your Craft... Martial Arts After 70.
WORDS FROM BEN LIM SENSEI:
I have always fancied learning martial arts of different forms. As a teenager in weight training, I would learn Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and in my later years, I would learn some Jiujitsu and Karate. Finally, I started training in Aikido and would stay to specialize in the art. I am now 70 years old and pursuing my ultimate passion of teaching Aikido out of my own private studio.
THE ART & PHILOSOPHY OF AIKIDO TRAINING:
Aikido is a non combative Japanese martial art founded by the great master O Sensei in the early 20th century. It is a defensive art with a lot of flowing movements of the body to keep in harmony with the flow of the universe. It trains the mind to focus on balance, flexibility and tranquility. A student in Aikido training would want to understand some other forms of martial arts like Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Jiujitsu and the like. Such a student will have a better concept of the Aiki form and will begin to train with soul and mind power.
IN AIKIDO TRAINING, WE FOCUS ON THE 4 BASIC PRINCIPLES:
Keep One Point i.e. to concentrate on one's focal point maintaining the body balance throughout the body movements
Extend i.e. to tip the opponent's balance
Weight Underside i.e. stay connected to the opponent's movement as you guide him into a throw or a pin
Relax Completely i.e. avoid muscling but let your body fluidity do the take down of the opponent
There are many essentials for effective Aikido training. Good everyday living habits come into play, such as, making sure to get a good night's sleep. Some people take cat naps to restore energy levels, which is good if one is able to do so. It is important to eat well and get good nutrition in your diet. Above all, keep your body hydrated at all times.
One aspect of personal communication with individuals also comes into play with Aikido training. The world has so much to offer in knowledge and technology. We are living in a new, ever changing, and challenging world. The attitude of "You snooze you lose" is constantly reminding us that we need to keep up with the changing pace of the things around us. One very important thing in life that most people put the least amount of emphasis on, is their health. As we mature we constantly seek to be successful in our professions and we work diligently towards many goals, but fail miserably to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It totally defeats the whole concept of living if you can't even enjoy life in your old age.
We seek to put our heart and soul into the practice of Aikido, thereby cleansing our mind off some boggling thoughts. Aikido movements could also be practiced with meditative soothing music. We encourage students to practice with open mind by saying, "Onegaisemas" which literally means "Please teach me, or excuse me" showing mutual respect for each other. The Dojo, which is the training hall or room, is regarded as a place of students' growth in learning.
FINAL WORDS TO STUDENTS OF AIKIDO:
Stay and be your own self.
Keep fit, eat right.
Be courteous and be positive.
And wear a SMILE