Many people are intensely dissatisfied with their lives and they think that they need to try things like meditation, martial arts, yoga, massage, etc. They have read or heard about people that have faced great challenges, and despite the hardships, difficulties and setbacks, have found through the practice they have chosen to walk, now live a life of great happiness, and inner peace. Consequently, they see the possibilities and seeing the value of studying Aikido, meditation or massage, they come to us in a frenzy, to get from where they are now to where they want to be. They are suffering and want it to end as quickly as possible. I understand how they feel because I also was like that too. A couple of things you need to consider, first these practices take time to learn, and there are pitfalls to hurrying the process. Second to change requires you to work through it. The programs I offer at Martin Acton’s Aikido Institute include Aikido, meditation, massage and Japanese language classes, physical therapy and counseling. The programs will not cure all your problems in 30 days! From my experience studying, practicing and teaching these things, it required discipline, persistence and a long time to gain the benefits that I received.
I had one man came to me and told me he was a martial arts instructor and wanted my help to start his own school. I asked how long he had trained and was shocked to hear that he went for a weekend seminar, paid £3,000 and got his instructor’s license without even having to pass a test!
In Japan, we have Black Belt courses you can take, but the fastest you will achieve the rank of Black belt requires a minimum of two years that requires intensive daily practice, every day for two years. The classes are very rough and the attitude is no pain no gain. When I practice with these black belt people, they are extremely unbalanced, tense and aggressive. This shows me they have not paid the price yet, and I am sorry to say I am not impressed with what I have seen so far. The most important thing for these people is to have the black belt, the certificate, the relative result. As I always tell my students I can give you a black belt in 5 minutes, I will take them in my car to the local clothes store, buy them a leather belt and even help them to put it on. The only purpose will be to hold up their trousers. The problem when you cut corners to gain fast results is that later you will not be able to achieve the happiness and inner peace you are seeking. Why not? Because you will always feel nervous that someone is going to beat you or take away what you have. Even if by some miracle you were able to beat other people, you will constantly be looking over your shoulder waiting for the person who is going to walk into your life and drop you.
The people that commit and follow the programs as I advise them, will reap the rewards. I don’t cut corners and I never qualify a person that has not obtained the qualification. These students have a deep contentment that gradually takes over them as they progress through the courses. They lose the desperate urge to hurry, hurry hurry. They stop thinking about the destination and start enjoying the journey. The programs become an adventure of continuing to grow and improve, and to see what will happen next. They know that from what they have already experienced, that whatever happens next, is going to be something they like and will help them to grow mentally, spiritually and improve physically.
By studying Aikido, meditation or massage at Martin Acton’s Aikido Institute you will change for the better at a very deep level. The keys to success are: take your time, you don’t need to hurry. Time is a relative thing. On the unconscious level, there is no time. You are undertaking a process of exploration, not a 100-yard sprint! You will make new discoveries about your capabilities and opportunities and the real adventure will be the discovery of new aspects of yourself and your environment that you had no idea would be so gratifying. Enjoy the journey in the "now". Until next time I wish you peace, happiness and success. Martin Sensei www.martinactonaikido.com