Aikido Red Belt Test

The prompt for this essay is to compare my relationships with myself and others in the time before
I started Aikido and after I started studying Aikido. But because of the young age I started
studying Aikido, I've chosen to contrast the time my parents took me to Aikido with the time after I
chose for myself to study Aikido. This is probably the more important transition because when I
first started Aikido it was mostly my parents doing.

Now that I've started really thinking more deeply about the principles of Aikido and their
non-martial uses, I can connect the principals back to the rest of my life. For example, I have
started to learn that it is much easier to try to see other people's way of thinking than to have more
conflict. This is just like in Aikido when we try to blend with our opponents and have a more
peaceful resolution.

One of the other things that definitely is changed for me is that I am feeling more confident in
myself. This is because I know that I have started to achieve a level of skill in something that took
a good amount of dedication and hard work. I'm fairly proud that I have built this level of
proficiency and this has helped me try to stay at tasks that I would normally give up on. This has
helped my relationship with both myself, as I feel more accomplished, and with others, as I can do
work more efficiently.

Also, I think Aikido has definitely helped me build a larger sense of community. Outside my friends
at school, I don't really know anyone. Aikido has definitely helped me feel that I can interact with people and make friends anywhere. When I transitioned to the teens class, and I was becoming
more aware of the relationships between the other kids I felt kind of like an outsider. But through
our shared training, I definitely feel like I'm part of the teen class group. This has hugely help my
relationship with myself as I feel that I can be accepted anywhere I go.

I think after started taking Aikido seriously, I have become a less verbally combative person. My
training has given me confidence and the community. All in all, Aikido has helped my relationship
with myself and others.


AOF - 14 year old student