Being in Japan and not understanding so much Japanese, I’ve come to learn aikido mostly by “kankaku” (feeling/perception) and have grown to deem this mode of learning superior to words … but those key words every while can really send things to a land of great understanding. Tonight, they were words I had alone with my Sensei before class. I actually showed up early because I saw him going over some Kenpo stuff with someone else last time, and I’m sure because the student is an eager early comer, so I thought I get in on some of the education. I showed up, and lo and behold, there sensei stood alone putting on his hakama. But we got started talking, and it really had little to do with aikido itself. But this 25 minute conversation we got to have before class really set some things straight with me, life, and inevitably but indirectly, aikido. It would be silly to think we should learn without using words, because we’re humans, and that’s what separates us from animals … and the cultivation of beer. Speaking of … time to do more non-aikido oriented activites that will enhance my ability in aikido.