“The Heart And The Tempest,” by Nev Sagiba

“Physical combat and mental conflict are related. They can be
resolved through a conscious entity’s regular application to skill.”

Nothing is simply black or white, but rather shades of gold still unrecognized.

Aikido is refined brawling, chefs and generals are the same, war and cooking no different; and rearing children is the same as training elephants.

Preaching high discernment and then not living and demonstrating it, is hypocrisy.

You can’t build an app to stop a tsunami. You must lift your skirts and run like hell. Our focus as species is in the wrong places. We are not listening to nature and the universe.

In the Pythagorean school a candidate for initiation had to sweep floors and scrub toilets for four years before qualifying for acceptance. Real dojos are the same. It develops forward noticing.

To expect recognition from Sensei but never having turned up to scrub floors, clean and do service work, is a self defeating form of arrogance. Your few dollars mean nothing and cannot purchase either wisdom or skill.

Insatiably addicted to stimulating the senses with abject crap, we have become a species that have forgotten to listen to what matters. Natural disasters have begun to eat us as we bury ourselves in gadgets, excremental visual stimuli and blatant delusion. This is not any “god’s wrath,” rather OUR CHOICE to be blind to the obvious staring us in the face! Our focus is on distractions instead of actuality as it is.

If valid, the link between actual physical presence to a location and an inner, mental or spiritual reality can only occur through a conscious entity by personal, daily conscious application to skill in action.

Physical combat and mental conflict are related. They can be resolved through a conscious entity’s regular application to skill.

Aikido, when applied to survive is nothing more than refined brawling without concepts getting in the way. Or any other strategy of survival which notices what’s coming in advance and preemptively acts accordingly.

Whether brawling with physics and nonresistance, or moving to the hills, requires conscious cooperation and centeredness and calmness at the core. But with focus on what truly matters.

Such dynamic calmness can only come through attunement with the great harmony of the universe. The training basic kihon form the keys that can unlock and induce such clarity. But only if conducted honestly and with a questioning mind. Not blind belief, hubris, rote, collusion and politics.

Aikido is about victory over oneself, not others. And noticing. Aikido is about light through self-control and not darkness that comes from the control of others. Not even attackers.

This is the basis of universal integrity and a radiant field of awareness.

If you are a chef and have worked in a serious, high-powered restaurant, you know exactly what a dedicated battlefield general goes through since you have learned to apply the same organizational, logistic and deployment skills under immense duress and time constraints.

If you can get an elephant to believe you are in charge when he is a calf, he will continue to believe this when fully grown. Otherwise you will not stand a chance later. If we fail to prepare future generations for the future there will be none.

But this requires a totality of SELF MASTERY.

The challenges of life provide the very tools for developing such mastery. But only when we, as the artist does, takes a step back to gain perspective.

That step back, as a result of the clarity of viewing that results, enables the numerous steps forward and upwards to become possible.

The words and role modeling of parents’ and adult parenting figures actions, indeed anyone in any leadership role tend to become a tape recording that replays subtly in the background of the mind once children or followers move into life.

This will influence their lives and behaviours and necessarily the future similar interactions.

But do you want to add burden or alleviation to these, since: “We are (already) all suffering.”

There is nothing wrong with scolding, even intense scolding if it is based immaculate truthfulness and is unconditional without ulterior motives other than the authentic benefit of the recipent, but the responsibility is to coach it in the positive power of possibility rather than bind the mind with more erroneous beliefs that entrap, snare and ultimately jail the mind and waste time later on.

For example;
“You are a fool.”

“Stop behaving like a fool,” with perhaps, if not immediately then later, an anecdotal explanation as to why.

And even better;
Simply point to the right action by example.

Ultimately there is not much we can do to influence unless the student chooses to be a willing learner, as the individual will in any case EVENTUALLY find their way back.

But it does help save time by mitigating the immense amounts of time wasted (a whole lifetime in most cases) in reclaiming oneself through so much time spent cleaning up parentally dumped sludge.

In this way, instead, you point the children towards personal empowerment by taking responsibility for themselves and where there are more than one, to mutually support each other as a team.

This is and will be the key to ultimate human survival. Without such team/community spirit, humanity will not survive the coming times.

It seems a little, but that little is a lot because it provides an opportunity to evolve towards the light and establishes The Path early in life and any other learning path.

It also reduces the burden on you, the caring parent or supposed leader of any kind.

Light is motion, immutable light is harmonious motion. Stagnation is darkness and oblivion.

Recently, in casual conversation about vital attributes, passing spontaneously it was said, “I have listened to the heart through the tempest..”

I heard it and took note.

The statement is worthy of contemplation for it speaks to the very core essence of Aikido.

Listening to the heart during the tempest and adjusting accordingly with full conscious clarity that comes from purposefully exercising skillful means, and then extending the skill of skillful means into daily life, is The Way.

The Way then increasingly enables listening to the heart BEFORE the tempest comes and noticing the messages of intuition that enable.

Such vital inner skills will be a necessary requirement for human beings in the future navigation of life on Planet Earth.

Nev Sagiba


  1. Great article, thanks Sagiba Sensei, your phrase about the candidate in the Pythagorean school remind me the car polishing in Karate Kid, it was a wise lesson.

    I agree that physical combats and mental conflicts are related and both have influence in our surroundings. If we, all aikidokas would win over ourselves with our training and would pass the peace and fellowship we would find in our dojo to others, all together we would project light, but that is just a nice dream.

    We should educate our children to independent, positive and caring human beings. We also should remember that even human extinguish, the earth and nature will remain.

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