Aikido is energy training. The name itself speaks of this energy; the ‘ki’ in aiKIdo means energy or life force. Put together, the word Ai-ki-do means ‘the way of joining energy’ or ‘the way of harmony.’ I recently spent a weekend at a seminar with Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, a 7th degree black belt, who teaches ‘internal power’ movements. Ikeda Shihan can do all of the physical Aikido techniques, throws, and joint locks that we all see in demonstrations, but he often teaches about internal power, the stuff you don’t see. The entire weekend was spent working with this internal energy, practicing moving our partners using only small shifts in our bodies and the intention of our minds.
After eight hours of intense internal energy aikido practice over the weekend, I thought I’d be exhausted on Monday. The opposite happened. I felt great. I went about my regular daily schedule with vigor. That evening I taught the kids Aikido class and had infinite amounts of patience! I attended my regular adult aikido class and felt more grounded and centered than I have felt in a long, long time.
If that wasn’t enough, I went to a dance class with West African drummers and the class was high energy and I couldn’t stop moving. I danced the choreography and even when it wasn’t my turn, I danced off to the side and in the back. I had so much energy, it felt like it was exploding out of me. I could have danced all night.
That got me thinking…did I accumulate energy over the weekend during my aikido training? Was I then using that energy to fuel myself during dance class?
Am I a battery?
If so, did I tap into some external energy, like The Force?
It felt to me as if I’d been plugged in, charged up, and then I’d used that harnessed energy the next day. Unfortunately, like a battery, I ran out of juice. The next time I went to an aikido class and we played around with the ‘internal energy’ that we’d learned over the weekend, I had nothing left. I was empty, running only on fumes. My battery had been depleted and I needed to recharge.
I think about all of the energy out in the world, in the universe. Infinite amounts of energy. I’d like to plug my battery into that energy and charge up!
Have you ever experienced this? Do you do an energy practice like Tai Chi or Qui Gong, or do you do body work? If so, do you feel like you plug in to energy from the universe?