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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
It can cause you to lose confidence in your abilities and keep you from your natural level of performance; this, in addition to leaving you with an intense desire to sit in the corner and guzzle sake as you binge-watch bad martial arts movies. (knew I shouldn’t have bought that new internet streaming service package, so much temptation). Continue reading
No. I don’t mean the song but instead, how to avoid being noticed in a crowd. Ever notice that some people seem to dress not for success (like in the book) but instead to stick out of the crowd as far as possible and to be noticed? If not then you need to go talk to Sensei about working on your zanshin (awareness in all directions) and learn situational awareness. Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Etiquette runs rampant in a classical or a koryu-oriented dojo. Everything from how you approach the front door, to how you enter and bow to the Shinza and then the Sensei (or the joseki), to how you get permission to enter or leave the mat is proscribed and dictated. How you dress and how you wear it is set out and not to be disregarded. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
A tendency in the Budo-verse is sometimes seen in mid-level ranks. Understand that mid-level ranks in my mind are 5th, 6th, and sometimes 7th Dan which are the first three tiers in the promotional dan-i ranks; first tier being 12,3, & 4 dan and second tier being 5, 6, 7, & 8 dan. By the time someone has made 8th dan, they "should" be over this tendency. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Many times it becomes all too easy to fall into what is colloquially referred to as being in a rut, or simply repeating the same activities, actions, attitudes, and behaviors that are a part of our everyday existence but without any real thought given to what that actually means and how it can impact (positively, negatively, or neutrally) our lives, our goals, our development, and our future. Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Having the confidence of knowing with absoluteness that you can slam him into the floor so hard that his eye-teeth shoot out his butt means that it’s difficult if not impossible to make you fear anything he says or does. This is valuable not only in life and as an older person, but also for younger people in tough business negotiations and client meetings where aggressive body language and direct (but “polite”) accusatory language is commonly employed. Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Popularity and the desire to be liked are at the center of issues, problems, and catastrophes in our political discourse, business success (or failure), personal relationships (most esp. with families and relatives), and in the dojo. Sensei can be as guilty of this desire as can anyone. However, the Sensei has a higher calling and a greater responsibility. Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Aikido is indeed a kata-based budo, as opposed to a sparring-based sport but claiming that randori practice is closer to bad dance than it is to open sparring or actual battlefield combat is a grossly uneducated overstatement; to put it mildly and bluntly. Most younger players and almost entirely all outsiders, simply do not understand that aikido and koryu systems train for conflict in an entirely different way than sport systems do, with koryu being combat oriented and sport being competition oriented. Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Martial arts have the ability to take us into something larger than ourselves. They allow us to break free of our limitations and move into a bigger universe as we reach more of our potential. However, they take focus, intent, curiosity, desire, and the discipline(s) of time, job, family, and friends; the first applied discipline being that of actually going to the dojo, suiting up, and training. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
So here I’m cruising the web like a boss beach bum. Surfing and clicking and hanging 12 and humming old sailor chanties when suddenly I’m taken aback at one site. “No Throwing Aikido Classes” the web site says, right next to “Aikido for Children”. So I hike up my Birdwell’s and turn my Hobie (er .. ah .. mouse) around and spend some time researching this idea. There it was and I hadn’t mis-read the page titles Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
I’m not a psychologist but I do play one on TV; or so the saying goes. However, after training in the martial arts for almost 50 years (since high school) and running my own dojo for the last 20, I’ve had the “opportunity” to watch a lot of disturbing tendencies in prospective players who visit the dojo, some of whom actually passed the initial screening and were on the mat for a time before leaving (or being invited to leave). Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Anyone who thinks that you have to become a monk and live a life of “One Bowl, One Robe, One Bieru” is wrong. You can live a life of “One Job, One Gi, One Martini” quite well and have time for family too. Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
How does the Sensei make lesson plans? What goes thru’ the minds of the senior players and instructors? Do the deshi ever see Sensei or the Hatamoto sitting in their easy chair but not seeing the tv show? While Sensei watches (or not-watches the tv) the spouse comments about how his/her feet twitch and their hands make little movements as he runs thru’ lesson plans, or analyzes a movement in his mind; the little twitches being unconscious movements that reflect the brain power being applied to solving Budo problems. Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Understand that where you are is not where you think you are. Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
In teaching advanced work we sometimes run into issues regarding the students’ inability to understand the material, not to mention do it correctly, internalize it, or pay it forward by teaching. Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
How do you get to be a Jedi (nods to Lucas)? Decades on the mat. How do you get to be that good, that high-level, and that incredibly powerful with your In-Yo-Ho? How do you become a Tengu; the ones who taught all the mythical kenshi their craft and their art. Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
veryone gets along unlike today’s Millennials and the tragic-comic life lived by the public teachers who have to manage them during class, and at lunch in the cafeteria at the local state institute for the criminally insane (er … ah …. public school). Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
So …………….. the occasions that popped into my mind during the drive in that were the most unusual and that had the best set-up as in the carnival barker coming in, talking martial arts and then slowly and gently trying to slip the ‘shiv in were ………….. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
....... on a pretty regular basis now, I get a call from someone looking for that perfect birthday gift, that conversation piece to put on the mantle, that perfect tool to carry in the trunk for road rage, that thing to keep by the door to threaten the neighbor with that dog that keeps pooping in your yard, and that special tool for stumbling zombies. Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
the ONLY thing holding you back from learning is the little creature inside your head, not my head, YOUR head, that keeps telling you that you can’t do it and keeps feeding you excuses to repeat to everyone on the mat. Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Arrogance retards learning because that arrogance, that failure to understand that you don’t know what you don’t know yet becomes a barrier, a closed door that is difficult to pass. The phrase, “empty tea cup” does not apply solely and only to the beginner sitting in the rain on the front porch. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Making Yudansha (graded dan) which starts at Shodan is, if isolated and taken strictly on its’ own, a great, repeat, great accomplishment and puts the wearer of the coveted black belt in a rarefied part of the atmosphere; but I’m a “Big Picture” kind-of-guy and in the greater scheme of things it is just another step on the way to a higher plane of existence. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2017 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
We are what we eat, or so they say. Given that we’re not speaking of food here it would be more appropriate to say, “We are what we think” or, “How we think is how we act, and what we become.” Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2016 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
However, the "soft" side without throwing dynamically is only a small part. Even people like Ueshiba who was reported to have once commented that he got to be as good as he was after 60 or so years of hard training used the bigger picture of start hard and end up soft. Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei: “I am what I am because I trained hard style for 60 years. What can you do?” Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2016 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
The concept of tokui-waza demonstrates that out of possibly 100’s of waza, you only really use less than a dozen consistently over the long-term. By consistent, repetitive practice of the basics done literally thousands of times, the few waza that are truly useful can be made most effective. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2016 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings