Marc's Reflection on Aikido & True Play

Muscles or Bones

May 24th, 2013 · No Comments

Fear/Control — strength, skeletal muscles, holding against, holding breath, rising up — horizontal

Trust/Flow — gravity, skeleton, sensation, compression, balance, resting into, moving with — vertical


Safety thru Connection

June 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

Personal physical integrity
Through flow

–grounded, centered, flexible, extended, connected (“vertical”)

From care to care




Pain or Flow

February 19th, 2011 · No Comments

Withdrawal, Pushing Against


Extension, touching, blending


From holding to flowing

January 15th, 2011 · No Comments

Holding on and holding back = Fear

Flow with safety and integrity = True play = Joy


True play

December 31st, 2010 · No Comments

This is a big one. I will not say much here, yet.

It is Sensei Bert Bennett’s whole view.

It shows up as joyful, engaged, flowing, physically dynamic learning.

It is this felt sense of true playfulness which is so attractive and enticing about this dojo.

The moments of connection, the learning in these moments.


Staying connected, committed

December 27th, 2010 · No Comments

Be clear and committed to  what you care about.

Connect to that care.

Stay with that care.

It has an awareness from center, through the other, through the ground.

This connection, its attractiveness, is the source of everything that needs to happen. From this connection, when I stay with it, something real and wonderful unfolds without effort or technique.

By the way, standing to the side, watching, thinking, judging, planning–these practices are not the practice of connecting.



December 27th, 2010 · No Comments

Balance is the manifestation of grounded care.

Flow originates in care.

Connection is shared care.

Lack of care is, careless, awkward, chaotic.

An attractive  future unfolds from present shared care.

I alternate between hiding and participating.

The practice is to know what my care is and move from there, connect from there, stay with it, gently return to it, again and again.

Straining (pushing and pulling) is not caring. It is avoiding care.



December 24th, 2010 · No Comments

Connecting with another is… well it is the human thing.

Connecting with gravity, balancing, staying on a line, staying with gravity, to the end.

When connected, the movements unfold without technique, without thinking, without emotion.

Connection is the foundation of flow.

And flow feels good to everyone involved.


Sameness or alienation

December 17th, 2010 · No Comments

There is real connection in the world.

There is a self imposed attempt to limit this connection.

It is a kind of fighting against reality in an attempt to protect something or the other from something or the other.

This movable, self imposed boundary is a big deal. Fortunately this "false" boundary setting and its origins are susceptible to Aikido practices, starting with awareness and then a gentle acceptance and curiosity.

The larger the space of sameness, oneness, non-otherness, the more flow that can occur.

Self selected alienation is another word for this boundary. Sounds inviting?


Staying with

December 11th, 2010 · No Comments

Stay with whatever comes up.
From "vertical", an inclusive, connected, movable place of choice.
Stay with fear, from "vertical", while fear exposes itself and transforms, without effort.

Effort only serves to amplify or harden fear.