Need some Stress Relief? Need Better Balance in Life? Try Mokuso (Silence) #LNK

In the Martial Arts Training Hall, there is often a period of silence before starting class.  If there isn’t, and the students are still talking, the instructor may say “Mokuso!” which in Japanese means “To Silence”, or “Contemplate!”  However, a better way to think of this, as in Dave Lowrey’s book In the Dojo, where he defines “Mokuso” as a transitional period.  Many think of the Dojo (training hall) as a place of refuge from the stresses of the modern world.  In reality, the Dojo is a place where one learns to better confront and deal with the stresses of the modern world.

In the dojo, the student learns more about the world by learning more about his/her self, and so, the Dojo becomes a world-in-miniature, to the world outside.  Mokuso allows the student to put the cares, stresses, aggravations of the outside world aside for a moment, in order to prepare himself to train.  When his training is finished for the evening, he or she again returns to Mokuso so that he/she can transition back to life outside the dojo.

So what is the trick to “Mokuso”?  You must quiet yourself, and let the constant stream of concerns, fears, thoughts, and wishes not get your attention.  Easier said than done, right?  It is not really meditataion, however.  You are only allowing yourself a moment to prepare for the next phase.  This transitional period can be used to reflect on how to use the coming moments most effectively.  Have you always made the most of whatever you have spent your time on?  Try Mokuso, so you can quiet yourself and focus on how to get the most out of your time.


Todd Roberts

Aikido of Nebraska Dojo Update 10/15/09 #LNK

Hello Everyone,

The Dojo at Aikido of Nebraska is progressing along nicely.  New students are starting all the time, and the mat is getting that “lived in” look finally!  We have expanded our website even further, with a student section, and an online store.  Students can now look up their profiles online, sign up for classes and lessons, take care of membership dues all online!  All of this is designed to do one thing; make it easy to get in and train, without any other distractions!

We are continuing to provide Self Defense for Women Workshops on Monday nights at LifePointe  Wellness Center, and the students there are learning the awareness and street tactics of self defense in the real world.

So, If you have been on the edge, thinking about coming in to Aikido of Nebraska,  but haven’t done it yet, do so now.  There are no high-pressure tactics; we want happy students.  Come down and see a class, and talk with the other students to see what the “new buzz” is about.


Todd Roberts

Increase your Success? Increase Your Manners

I consider myself lucky, because I live in one of the last worlds where manners are allowed to be taught – the Martial Arts school.  Name me another place where manners and courtesy are allowed to be taught.  

School?  No way!  “You are not going to impose your values on my kid!” 

Work? Puleeze!  Most corporate handbooks read like Kindergarten rules (no hair pulling, keep your hands to yourself, try to keep your pants on, etc)

Church? Maybe.  But most of the time even in church, you learn WHAT to do, not HOW to do it.

In ancient times, samurai were trained killers. It would make sense that when these people came together to train, they would not want to accidently challenge or offend their training partners. Etiquette and manners were (and are) an important part of the training process in the Martial Arts.

So, at the Martial Arts school, we always say “hello”, “goodbye”, “please” and “you’re welcome”, we wait for someone to finish before we speak to them, etc.  Oh, and “thank you”.  We say (and mean) “thank you” a lot.  And you know what?  Before you know it, it becomes part of your lifestyle.  You start to find that the “little pleasantries” in life mean more than you thought they did.  You become more pleasant, and everyone around you becomes more pleasant as a result.

But here is the kicker; people are so programmed nowadays to expect you to bicker, complain and whine, that they are stunned when you present proper manners.  And, the next time they need or want something, who will they choose?   The guy who treated them like crap? No, the one who sticks out in their memory as being pleasant/mannered.  I attribute my manners to my success in life as much as my college education (one cannot replace the other, however). Its that important.

There are some important points to remember, however. 1) You must be sincere.  People have an uncanny ability to detect a fraud.  2) Don’t expect an immediate return on your investment (“if I am well-mannered in the interview, they are sure to hire me!”).  Over the course of months and years, good manners will get you more in life that poor manners.  3)  Dont expect people to understand you when you show exceptional manners; they will look at you like you have a fungus.  It will take 2 or 3 times before they “get it”.

So would you like to increase the results of whatever you do in life? Great, just keep doing it, and add exceptional manners. It costs very little, but it will get you to stand out in the crowd.  And if you don’t know how to have exceptional manners?  Come visit us at Aikido of Nebraska, we can help.

Todd Roberts