We are proud to represent Kokikai Aikido in the Seattle, WA area. We are an affiliated member of the Aikido Kokikai Federation USA. Kokikai is an international organization of Aikido practitioners who study the art of Aikido through the teachings of Sensei Shuji Maruyama, Kokikai’s founder and president.
Sensei David Zeger began training at the Aikido Kokikai Southwest dojo in Tempe, Arizona in 1994. He began facilitating Aikido practices at the Arizona State University Kokikai Aikido Club in 1998 under the guidance and instruction of Veronica Burrows Sensei and David Nachman Sensei. Since moving to Seattle in 2000, he led practices regularly at the University of Washington Kokikai Aikido Club and a former Kokikai Aikido dojo in Seattle. Since 2004 he has continued his training and instruction through sharing practices with Kokikai Aikido practitioners in central Seattle. Some practices are also led by other senior dojo members, typically having more than a decade of practice experience.
How we think about Aikido training
Think for a moment about how much of your life is made up of various kinds of challenges. These might include conflicts with people, unfortunate circumstances you need to navigate or even goals and aspirations you've set for yourself. They might be small daily challenges like getting out of bed when your alarm goes off or they might be large and complex like progressing in your career. The challenges we face and how we address them have enormous implications for the trajectory of our lives and our well-being.
So, how do you want to be when facing a challenge? It turns out that being the target of simulated physical attacks, such as in Aikido practice, is a good way to see what comes up when you're challenged. Do you get tense or stay calm? Is your instinct to run away or counter attack or can you find constructive and creative solutions to resolve or deescalate the conflict? Do you feel fearful of empowered? Does it make you exhausted or energized? The challenges we offer each other in the course of practice help expose opportunities for growth. What would you have to do, or how would you have to be, in order to have access to the very best parts of yourself even under the stress of a challenge? Would you want to be more centered? More relaxed? More positive? We can't dictate for you how you should be, but we can create a healthy and constructive environment for you to find out for yourself, and more importantly, for you to enjoy the practice of being how you want to be as you go through daily life and face up to challenges. It also turns out that the same growth that will help you face challenges in your daily life can also help make your martial arts techniques effective and elegant.
With this perspective, it becomes clear how and why Aikido can be a lifelong pursuit. As you grow as a person and your challenges evolve, so too does your Aikido practice. We can liken progress in Aikido to learning a foreign language. At the start you're memorizing a few words and phrases through rote repetition. You progress through consistent practice and the humility to only ever be partially correct. Eventually you become conversant, which you might consider to be the very beginning stage of mastery. But at what point is mastery in your new language really complete? When you run out people to speak with, literature to read, poetry to write? Maybe the goal of completing mastery doesn't really make sense. Only progress really matters. That's how Aikido works too. It's never too soon or too late to start because you can progress from wherever you are. You should expect to get enjoyment, satisfaction and meaning from your Aikido practice whether it lasts for one month or one decade or one lifetime. As you grow, it will grow with you.