Friday, April 1, 2011

kicking ass, peacefully



So, I'll let you onto something: I am dating the Karate Kid. Nate was a national Tae Kwan Do champion when he was 14. He had to train with adults, and he tended to beat them.

I am the opposite of the Karate Kid. My ancestors were peaceful Norweigan agrarians who migrated from one beautiful, cold place (Norway) to another (Wisconsin), a place where everyone had to be (and still generally is) kind and helpful to each other in order to survive.

This creates an interesting dynamic for us. I like that Nate is a fighter, can protect me. And I help calm him down, "pacify" him.

He's been looking for a martial art to get back into, and he wants me to do it with him. I think we found something that will satisfy both of us, called Aikido. It's like yoga only better: a beautiful peaceful environment, you touch & are touched by other human beings in the process, you raise your heart rate, you wear an elegant badass uniform while doing it, you learn self-defense, and you even get to fence! The movements are graceful, almost like dancing, and I felt like I had reaped the benefits of meditating just from observing the class for an hour. I had one of those "gosh I'm lucky to live in the city" moments of gratitude about it last night.

The Japanese fellow who developed it had learned & studied 30 other martial arts before his training culminated in the creation of this particular form. The philosophy totally jives with how I want to be.

It is essential that we recognize that peace is not just an unattainable goal but a real possibility. In our ever shrinking world, world peace must be our ultimate goal. It is important to understand that strife and conflict are not preordained to be irrevocable conditions of human life. It is also essential that we recognize that the enormous waste of energy and resources that are a natural byproduct of conflict are no longer affordable by a world economy. Nations must conserve these assets in order to relieve the conditions that serve as the root initiators of the conflict.