“Having Appropriate Images,” by Shinichi Tohei

“It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article for at least one month.”

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  1. I enjoyed your entire writing piece, and I send you my gratitude. What got me right away was that at first glance, many people thought they could not do Aikido. My approach for the first month or so of class seems strange to me, but maybe it is more common than I think. Let me know if you have insight into this, Shinichi san. When I saw people doing mae and ushiro ukemi (the low breakfalls), much of my mind thought, “no way.” However there was some sliver of optimism in my head, and I am grateful for a 15 year old senpai taking much of his free time before a couple classes to give me the basic idea. Then I improved from there, but I actually still don’t think my low ukemi (or high ukemi for that matter) are just right. I think the most frightening aspect to me before my dojo friend taught me is the fact that I would be rolling over my head, probably the body part most important to protect. I saw everyone else doing it, so I just went for it. I think the second roll took more courage than the first, but it got better and better from there. Many, many fears must be overcome while progressing in Aikido; isn’t that the beauty of the art? Associating Aikido with “appropriate images” seems paramount to me.

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