I got an e-mail the other day from Rick Berry Sensei, one of the most experienced Kokikai Aikido instructors that I’ve had the honor of training with. I’ve mentioned Berry Sensei before, mostly because he is the author of Stepping Off the Mat, an excellent philosophical read that, through stories and anecdotes, extends the principles of aikido into daily living. Berry Sensei keeps his own blog, in which he provides some really interesting insights into aikido training and how an aikido mindset can impact how you move through the world.
I know that there a number of folks who visit my little corner of cyberspace who do not study aikido: I would still recommend checking out Berry Sensei’s blog. His background is not in aikido–for years he has also studied and taught Tae Kwon Do. I don’t think I truly appreciated the power of a punch until one day, during a seminar with Berry Sensei in Seattle, I was asked to imobilize his arm in a classic katatetori grab. Within a split second I was bent backwards, staring at two knuckles that I knew, without question, that I could not prevent from meeting my nose in a most unpleasant fashion. Then, still staring at those knuckles, I found myself gently set on the ground, with Berry Sensei standing over me acting as if nothing I hadn’t done a thing. (And, in fact, I hadn’t–I never even got the chance!)
Anyway, Berry Sensei’s e-mail was to let me know that he has a new website: www.senseiberry.com. If you haven’t taken a moment to read some of his writings, I highly recommend it.