T.R.I. - TRAIN, REFLECT, & INTEGRATE
WHAT IS T.R.I.?
T.R.I. is the primary reason Tenchi Aikido was created and why we continue the practice. While Aikido is a powerful and effective martial art with potent self-defense techniques , we are passionate about, and committed to O’Sensei’s vision for Aikido as a budo or path to being. We believe the true value of Aikido can be gained “off the mat” and into life. We aspire to share and join with others in this discovery and we developed T.R.I. as a means to do so. When we developed T.R.I. we were inspired not only by our own experiences but those of fellow Aikidoka and friends for whom Aikido has made a positive impact.
TRAIN: It is one thing to observe an Aikido class, watch a video, read about, or conceptualize the techniques; it is another to experience the practice in your body, which has been said to be the temple for the soul. There is nothing quite like physical training, learning basic steps and sequences, feeling what it is like to give and receive an "attack," discovering and moving from your center and connecting with others' centers, noticing what happens to the brain and body when learning and practicing, and "sampling" different qualities of energy (ie., hard/soft, fast/slow, big/small) within techniques and movements, and from those whom you train with. To inhabit the body in the moment, with all its capacities and limitations, in cycles of movement and stillness, is something special in and of itself.
"The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit."
REFLECT: This phase is about awareness and discovery. It means going beyond asking, “Am I doing this technique correctly?” and “How can I improve my skills?” or even “What is the other person doing?” REFLECT inquires “What I am I doing, and do I understand what I’m doing or what is happening?” It is not mere intellectualizing but a quest to understand one’s self, others, and different situations or events. It means the willingness to look at whether our attitudes, behaviors, and tendencies on the mat or in Aikido practice transpire outside or "off the mat", and how these patterns impact both worlds. REFLECT dares to look into the nature of aggression and violence which lies within us and seeks understanding. In essence REFLECT asks that we remain open even to the difficulties, curious, perpetual students on and off the mat, maintaining what Shunryu Suzuki termed as “beginner’s mind.”
INTEGRATE: Moving from internal to external, INTEGRATE is about translating the kinesthetic, sensory, mental, emotional, and intuitive knowledge and wisdom gained from the practice of Aikido from on the mat, to "off the mat" into the larger "dojo" (place to practice the way) of life. In other words, INTEGRATE asks how do we move from solely physical to spiritual warriorship? It explores the ways can we continually work to improve ourselves, daily lives, and communities and be "stewards of peace" It understands and embraces the choice that, in our own unique ways, no matter how big or small, we can make concrete and actual changes to help contribute to a better world.
“The true meaning of the 'samurai' is one who serves and adheres to the power of love."