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Wilkinson Sensei
Houston, Texas, USA
After a lifetime of thinking about it I've finally become a Zen-Objectivist; Zen for the intuitive side, and Objectivism for the logical side.
Interests: philosophy ... throwing people around on the mat ... decent science fiction (tough to find since Muadib' got himself lost in the desert) ... jazz music (lite & upbeat with some classic hard bop & fusion) ... dedicated life-long martial artists & Aikido players who prefer the right way over the wrong way or the easy way ... really smooth frozen luxury vodka ... getting lost in kata and humming out loud in the middle of a fast, sweaty randori session ... good cask-strength scotch that flows over the tongue like sexy peat flavored oil ... full bodied cigars (preferably torpedoes since a torpedo roller is considered the most skilled) ... sushi (of course!) but only if it's really fresh ... really good men's perfume strength cologne made the old fashioned way with ambergris (gives it interesting character) that causes strange women ask me what I'm wearing ... watching my kids and grand kids discover life and how uniquely different their parental genetics are (if you were a kid would you want your mom and dad to be a pair of precision minded perfectionist professional level executives, zennists and avid libertarian-objectivist acolytes of Ayn Rand who rarely take no for an answer and who would rather lose a client or even a friend if keeping them meant compromising honesty and ethics?
Recent Activity
Many times over the years the question has arisen of "why reishiki" (why so much emphasis on ritualized manners) as seen in Old School dojo. Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2024 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Many martial artists look at a kata (aka a group of techniques) and only see ......... a group of techniques. This isn't a bad thing because after all ... it really is just that. Unfortunately however, little thought is given by the younger and the relatively inexperienced players that those techniques (and kata sets) might have been placed together for a reason. Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Musashi once said that to be effective in combat you had to see the big issues and also see the small issues. This is paraphrased of course but the general idea here is that you have to be able to intuitively identify everything that the opponent is doing from his general kamae (posture) to where his feet are. Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
That means that if my luck holds, I could have a total of 60 to 70 years on the mat. Or put another way, if I consider that a full training phase is about 20 years or so, then I will have passed through 3 full 20-year phases during my life. Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
How does anyone grow as a person. How do you become something that you are not. How do you escape from the shoe box that you grew up in and become aware of the larger world outside the bubble that you normally exist and live within. How do you become something you are not (yet). Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Once upon a time there was a monk without any eyelids who was sitting in a cave and his arms and legs fell off, and when someone asked him what he was doing he replied, "Listening to the ants scream". Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Taken for granted. Have you ever felt taken for granted. It's completely normal you know. Open a dojo and start holding classes. Over years of operations everyone just gets used to the dojo always being there,and classes being available on a dependable schedule. Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Over the last five decades of my training in martial arts I’ve observed that promotions are one of the big events in a dojo, in a students’ life, and their career in Bushido. Aside from the sense of personal accomplishment that the deshi feels upon being promoted, the promotion itself brings a certain sense of pride and accomplishment to the entire dojo if considered from the aspect that everyone in the dojo has at one time or another been their training partner. Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
While it is not New Year’s yet, being August we are more than half way there so we can and probably should look ahead. Japanese New Year is known as Shogatsu. Taking place on January 1st to the 3rd (after Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar during the Meiji period) it is an important day in which both remembrances and celebrations occur. However, in Japanese dojo Kagami Biraki holds a more critical role in the New Year's celebration. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
A meme sometimes circulates on the internet that goes something like ...... "I'm a popular loner. I know a lot of people and a lot of people know me, but my circle is small and I'm usually by myself". Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
So the question becomes, why do we not count time off? Why do we not count the days and the weeks off during which we did nothing but relax? Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Being the guy (or gal) who runs the dojo doesn't have a whole lot of advantages; long hours, legal and financial obligations, marketing, trying to keep everyone happy, working to vary lesson plans and avoid boredom as much as possible are examples. One clear advantage however (of running the dojo) is that of changing the curriculum and class focus when the mood strikes. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
And I am assuming here that you have found a true martial pathway and are not training at a "McDojo". And I am also assuming that you have chosen the old flow koryu path of you “becoming” the ryu and not doing the modern or gendai idea of “making it your own”. Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
As deshi promote upwards to higher ranks a sort of entropy can sometime set in. Years of doing the same kata (basic, advanced, or otherwise) can create in one’s mind a sort of "over-familiarity" and the idea that not much is left to do, other than to go to the dojo and teach a few beginners before sushi and sake apres' dojo. Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
“If I had only paid attention to the lesson to begin with”. For him, that was a valuable lesson in and of itself, more important than the actual material being looked at. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
A rock and roll singer once used the phrase “… are you experienced …” in a song to express a sentiment; so, to paraphrase, “… are you elegant …”. Elegance is neither elusive nor elitist as some may think; it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2023 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Or are they a disciple. Are they not just a student or a learner or apprentice, but a follower; one who applies what he has learned and works to continue the teachings. Would you look at them and believe that they will someday teach and continue the work and preserve the ryu. Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Having been an athlete since grade school where I ran track as a sprinter before getting into playing competitive football through my high school years, I’ve been in weight rooms and gyms my entire life training before eventually moving into... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
A Samurai saying was that there are three kinds of people. The first is the person (deshi) who understands the purpose of his teacher’s teachings and functions well within that limited scope. However, he does not have many original or creative teaching ideas of his own and does not practice much. He can become a teacher of students but not a true leader or master of the art. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Well for one, they work with each other in training, learning, and preserving physical (and philosophical) knowledge that can be centuries old. They look out for each other, teach each other, learn from each other, and while doing so pledge to “pay it forward”. So, should we refer to ourselves as “Bushido Elites”? And if so, what makes us different? Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Teaching, guiding, creating “good learning” environments means taking the time to carefully observe, analyze, and then give commentary that should result in improvement; this, remembering that improving the basic fundamentals (you know, the “beginner stuff”) really is advanced work. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
I had to way step back and look at those two sets of comments; both of which made me realize that one, I wasn’t nearly as good at anything as I thought I was and two, I basically didn’t know what I was talking about. It was likely the first time as an adult fresh out of university that I had been spoken to like I was eight years old. Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
There are a million (well, maybe not literally) reasons as to why someone looks to Aikido to answer questions that maybe they still don’t know they have but that apparently need answers. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
This is eidetic memory, or the ability to vividly recall someone seen possible only once. Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2022 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
The world turns, times change, nothing stays the same, 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, and turn in circles. Sometimes change is not progress and certainly not for the better. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2021 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings