Hello… My name is Andrew.
Some of you may know me from my careers in IT as a database or systems administrator, or from Aerospace as a project or operations manager, or now in Digital Marketing.
But you may not know that I have been practicing and teaching the martial art of Aikido for the past 35 years.
It started when I was 15 years old with the passion, energy, and curiosity to enter into and allow myself to be fully pulled into that world. Its depth and gifts have never let go.
In these years with Aikido, I have had the opportunity to travel and train throughout the world. Some of these places have been Japan, Brazil, England, Scotland, Czech Republic and throughout the US.
Even more of a gift has been the continued opportunity to meet a very wide range of people and personalities. Teaching me about life, culture, and viewing moments in time, even if only for a little bit, to deepen my understanding as well as experiences that have shaped my path. Like in our work lives, we come across so many people that enrich our lives and in whatever way possible find ways to stay in contact with them.
We may have started as cohorts in training, sempai (elders), students, and instructors… the outcome is how happy I am to call many friends. I can only hope to continue to stay healthy and meet more people in my life and path for another 35+ years!
When I look back, I contemplate what were the biggest lessons that I learned along the way. There are so many I cannot recount or remember all of them.
However, one of the biggest lessons that comes to the top of my mind is that of shedding the past and continuing to grow, learn, and continue the process….
In all these years, Aikido has become part of who I am, yet I always do my best to not let my being a martial artist (or anything) define who I am.
In Aikido, there is a concept called Misogi which, in a way, is purifying the spirit and mind. At least, that’s how I have interpreted and tried to incorporate it into my practice (and life). The concept, as best as I can share, is that we all have emotions, thoughts, bad feelings (or just tiredness); and we can peel or scrape those off our mind and body through hard practice, meditation, or just stubbornness to clear our minds.
With having a clear mind and sharing who I am and was (with you all), I am looking forward to the next journey. And as I am sharing this with you all, I also look forward to meeting and sharing new journeys and experiences with you as well.
“Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” Morihei Ueshiba