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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
One of our senior players once had a conversation with another Yudansha and basically told him that he should not get in a fight with anyone as the outcome might not be to his advantage as-in he would likely get his butt kicked. As related, the conversation went on to describe the three primary responses to a threat that suddenly occurs with those three responses not being the more normally cited “Fight or Flight” but instead, “Fight, Flight, or Freeze”. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2021 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Kagami Biraki. Mirror Opening. What is that? Renewal? Re-dedication? Rising Spirit? Fresh beginnings? Change of course toward new horizons? Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2021 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Lately there have been more than a few commentaries floated around out there that speak to the changes in the Zen community and how current Western thought has corrupted the realization process including the learning and the finding of our true self; that realization being replaced by social and cultural ideas of the moment. Unfortunately for Budo, those changes have also impacted martial arts in much the same way. Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2021 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
If we consider that the original construct(s) are based on actual field (combat) experience that the first teacher of the ryu/system survived, and then additionally consider that subsequent teachers added teaching drills and forms over successive generations also based upon their field experiences or overall knowledge of martial arts acquired over their lifetime, then the system and the order of learning it has value and should be closely adhered to as it comes from a “proven” standpoint and not one of theory. Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Incivility as generally noted in the workplace has been defined as low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target. Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Get to the mat and do some keiko with a little shugyo thrown in for good measure before the Murder Bees, Godzilla, flying sharks, zombie dwarves and elves, hungry orcs, another attack of The Cooties, or an alien invasion start. Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
“To acquire something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done before” and the same holds true for both senior long-time players, and beginners. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Life is not for wimps; or so they say. I believe that. I really do after the last couple of years. Aside from the normal politics, economic and jobs issues, international war and pandemic scares, there’s the other 500-pound gorilla... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
At some point we simply must sit down and seriously think about who we are, why we are here, and where we are going. Doing so requires (for least a short time) pushing out of our minds all the superfluous garbage in our daily lives and allowing our “inner-selves” to speak to us, inform us, and guide us. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Today's comment is pretty short and is just a thought to consider, around which you may want to organize your new year. I found this quote in a newsletter sent to me but the source was not listed. I originally... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2020 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
When you bow onto the mat the idea of self-deception is likely not the first thing that you think of. But once you sit long enough to be honest with yourself, it very well may be a part of your training that you may not even be aware of. Why do you train? Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
In most forms of Budo, this “free-style” training and ignoring Sensei is itself a dangerous form of disrespect. Sensei is working to keep training safe and by consciously disregarding Sensei (not respecting his directions) the student can do something dangerous that results in injury. In the end, reigisaho is simultaneously respect and an adjustment of our attitude and how we relate to and work with others as we train in controlled violence. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
It’s Budo. It is not a sport. It is not a game. It is an activity where we practice the very serious art of controlled violence where mistakes have consequences and even the little things can often be critical, so everyone’s head must always be on straight. Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
Go Big or Go Home or so they say. After all the considerations we made in Part 1 and 2 (of this mini-series on opening and running a dojo) we finally found a way out of the “Y” and into our own space where we could have a dedicated space to train. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
All of them had come to his organization and teachings via work of mouth, referrals, having met at Judo shiai, and attending week-long training clinics. Many/most did not have the time or financial commitment that he had put into his dojo which had a fully sprung floating floor with professional mats on top covered in white canvas that was about 2,500 sf in size with dressing rooms and showers so they did what they could the best way that they could in order to stay in Budo and actively train. Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
e asked the question of “How do I open my own dojo so that I can get back into teaching and training”. Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
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
Posted Sep 11, 2019 at The Thoughtful Sensei-Aikido Musings
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