Aikidoists sometimes like to think of themselves as “warriors for peace”. In fact, however, that is naïve at best. Going to the dojo to train is an act of self-discipline, a way to exercise, or a social activity with like-minded people, etc. And with great effort eventually some self-defence skills will be achieved and personal insight will develop.

But it is what we do outside of the dojo that matters. Sitting in a circle, holding hands and sending good vibrations for peace won’t help anyone. However, in our daily interactions with those around us we can demonstrate courage, patience and empathy, thereby contributing to social harmony on at least a small scale. That in itself is already worthwhile.

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