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COSMOS No.7 / July 1996

This page is an excerpt of the message from Endo Shihan, which was published in Saku Aikido News, “COSMOS” (from July 1993 to October 2002).

What Embu Expresses

Aikido Saku Dojo Director Seishiro Endo


All Japan Aikido Embu Taikai had taken place at Nippon Budokan on 18th of May. Over 4,000 people mainly from Kanto area, but also from all over Japan, participated in it. It is a pleasure for Aikido world that the number of Embu performers in this event has been increasing for these several years. It can be said that the Aikido leaders made good efforts towards the expansion of Aikido and the public has appreciated its quality. At the same time, I feel that we should not satisfy the Embu itself and aim at higher level, although it depends on the purpose of this event.

Among the leaders, over age 40 having more than 20-year Aikido career are called Shihan. Young and old are among them. Both who have shorter career or longer career are repeating “trial and error” and practicing and guiding with their own thoughts, philosophy. I picked up the words “Mind asks for form and form enhances the mind” on the last Cosmos. Thinking about the Embukai with these words, I can express that “Embukai is the place where people performs what they think about Aikido everyday.” Young with full of energy might perform as they are, and it is all right. On the other hand, elderly whose power are already past its peaks should perform Embu with their tempered “thoughts” which came from their longer life and longer career of Aikido, rather than showing their powers only.

I happened to recognize that I practiced sometimes smiling when I was at my mid-thirties. I thought that I did well because I could smile while practicing, and reflected upon me at those times. And I found out that I was not bound by anything, did not have recourse to physical strength, and soft, not strained and just faced the partner by concentrating “ki”. After some years with this kind of practice, my feeling of throwing, pressing, and hurting the partner had been disappeared and my heart became very light, and my body is also light to be able to move smoothly.

Since then, I grasped the Aikido practice to be tempering waza with the mind of facing the reality, not losing myself, and having respect a high regard for the others. By doing these, I believe that we can build up ourselves firmly. Embukai can give a great impact upon the viewers even indirectly, I will try my best to express my “thoughts” precisely every time I join the opportunity of Embukai.