In Grades 7 and 8 I was a very poor student in my woodworking and metalworking classes. Despite my best efforts, my projects were never very successful. Nevertheless, I learned some important principles:

  • Clear the work area;
  • Use the best tool for the job;
  • Let gravity work with you;
  • Measure twice, cut once;
  • The job is not finished until the cleanup is complete.

I use these concepts in many different contexts, even though I do not try to build anything. (I leave that to those more skilled than myself.)

The same idea can be applied to Aikido training. While trying to make the techniques effective, we may never have cause to use them outside of the dojo. And even if your technical skill is not of the highest level, the practice of determination with control, self-protection while respecting others, and coordinating mind, body, and breath can (and should) be brought to bear in most aspects of daily living.

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