What do Aikido and Trivial Pursuits have in common - well in my view not the word trivial but the fact one doesn't know all the answers. In fact you are very lucky if you do or you are a good guesser. Well can you guess when it comes to Aikido? It's more like the game of Cluedo. This is the game where you have to decide who was killed, where and with what. The similarity to between who was killed and being killed in Aikido is purely concidential. No the point I am trying to draw from Cluedo is that you you try and work out the facts from the evidence you establish.
It's this establishment of evidence, I liken to the path that people are treading in Aikido. People have to establish their own evidence for Aikido because although we are all heading the same way, my Aikido is not necessarily your Aikido. Indeed there is another similarity to another childhood activity that of jigsaws - piecing the picture together. In fact this is probably closer to the Aikido way than the first two games I mentioned.
For everyone the pieces come in a different order and different ways. This is how I observe people doing Aikido from their comments. Something I thought we had firmly established at 4th-5th kyu level being only linked in the new light at 1st-2nd kyu level.
In my ramblings if you are still following I seize on the word "light" and I think of the mountain we are climbing in the Aikido sense and the fog that exists for all beginners that thins occasionally for higher grades to see the glimmers of light beyond the fog. Light which changes the perspective as you approach - guiding /leading but not always giving completeness to what is being sought. Leading towards a continual search for ideas and attitudes which in themselves may be glimmers of what we need to complete part of our jigsaw puzzle.
We recommend at the start of this year we all look at the technique we are doing and try to look at it a fresh in the hope that a further piece of the jigsaw is added.
Andrew & Sue Baird Published 1997