Some people practice Aikido because they love it whilst others comparatively fail at it because they try to make it too much of a commercial venture.
Pure science, that of discovery never made a penny but the technologies that come from it have been exploited to the tune of many trillions of dollars globally.
Why the divide? Why the disparity?
The goose lays the golden eggs but no-one seems to care to reward that goose by feeding it.
Some ancient cultures did not suffer as we do from extremes of fear-based greed, the very cause of the bulk of violence, aggression and war. They thrived for a long time but are selectively not often included in our narratives of prehistory because they don’t conform to prejudice.
Whether my dojo ever made a profit, broke even, or had to be subsidized was never a concern of mine. I train for Aikido. Money I make by working for it. When necessary I financed my dojo myself. At other times, it made some small pocket money or when owning a car, sometimes petrol money, although with the escalation of petrol prices my other work has had to maintain the cars more and more.
When it came to a choice between Aikido and owning a shiny would-be rust bucket, I chose walking. Walking augments Aikido anyhow. In my teens if it was a choice between eating and Aikido, Aikido would win and I’d return to my flat to an empty fridge and boiled rice. Not recommended. Had I eaten better I could have trained even harder instead of running on youthfulness as fuel. (In those days miso had not arrived in Australia. It would have helped nourish me better.)
Because of my enduring love of Aikido and all it stands for, some have accused me of being an extremist!
Priorities in order I chose the path of true discovery over that of lucre. The lucre came and went as it does anyhow.
Irrespective of comparative trivialities, Aikido has enriched me beyond any of the many dreams I may have once had.
Trust me. Aikido can’t make you meaningful money. That’s not where its wealth lies. If you want to collect dosh, take it from me, sales is the go, especially real estate. If you can stomach it.
The wealth Aikido has provided is much more than I care to list here. And ever so much more than any amount of money ever could have achieved.
Money cannot buy you the universe. Aikido gives it to you for free! Aside from prolonging my life in death dealing situations (a value not to be underestimated), Aikido has unlocked attributes that enabled me far more than money ever could have, as well as to make the money I needed when it was needed.
Besides, the concept of an aikibordello doesn’t quite do it for me. Trading tricks for cash and calling them “techniques,” I’ll leave to those whose minds choose to cope with no more. As for the mushroom farms who “keep their students in the dark and feed them manure,” they are not worthy of respect. Nor the dry, dead, obsolete pedantic sophistry that wallows in the archaic, clinging to a dead past that cares not for new discovery, merely the repetition museum pieces of obsolete habituation. Of what use is that?
Imparting Budo skills is not a profiteering numbers game. Filling halls for profit is not Budo. Traditional dojos are small, and quality is sought of the caliber than can then go out and teach. How many times do we embarrassingly hear someone at a party say, “I did a bit of martial arts once…” And to what did you learn, “Oh it was a while ago and I’ve forgotten…” That’s not Budo, not even mild recreation or light entertainment, but a waste of time and your money. If you are not dedicated to personal discovery take up ant farming or macrame or something.
Deep research and discovery is another thing entirely. Done daily it determines. It enriches you. It rewards you.
The enabling of the attributes of refined skill of mind-flexing to the umpth degree that Aikido enables, will make possible your navigation in areas of life few people ever get to know about, or how to go there. Or even believe exist!
There are dimensions out there and in you that, whilst to the average are unfathomable, to the Aiki explorer give rise to endless possibilities. Possibilities money cannot buy.
In good Aikido training, there are no “gurus” to fill your head with entrapping garbage while they exploit you.
No, instead it’s just you and the universe and the personal discipline of discovery. Body-mind-spirit conjoined and finding new dimensions of skill in all areas of life augmented by the foundational aiki bujutsu skill of protecting these in case some fool should attempt to take you out.
At every moment you learn to deal with the real!
Sure, there will be ups and downs and you will have the skill to not only notice them, but also to capitalize on them, such being the nature of aiki.
Designed to gain from adversity, Aikido will enable you to stay in charge even when those with lesser perception may think otherwise may be the case. Aikido empowers you to work things out by yourself, to see things as they are. (You will be accused of being opinionated, but its a small price compared to the gain. At sea, those who know because they discern and navigate get to live. What sound like “opinions” coming from an experienced navigator seem the same to uninitiated passenger. In a storm, the navigator will protect and save all lives aboard whereas the opinionated passenger, if he had his way would sink the ship and cost lives. Some things are indeed opinion. Some are experience.)
With proper Aikido training that is not cultish, you will be freed to draw your own conclusions and to refine them by testing assumptions to gain ever-increasing clarity as you gain experience and the clarity to discern even more.
When the waves are big, you can’t ignore them. If you fight them, you will get dumped. The Aikido attitude is: Learn to ride them in!
So, no matter what the vagaries or slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are doing: KEEP TRAINING!
The best and most empowering skills and lessons come when you train at what seem the worst time to practice.
Secretly, it’s in fact the best!
After all, no-one will usually attack you when you are full of beans or steroids. Rather the opposite, when you are down and out and least expecting it.
That will be the day you discover your secret power! The power you never thought you had. But contained all along dormant.
Once found, it will never leave you.
There are many levels.
The best sailing is in the storm. But not if you fear deep water.
Have you got what it takes? Well, yes, it’s there latent in every born child.
Are you going to discover it?
That will be your choice.