Aikido: Masakatsu agatsu katsu hayabi
Practice of purification to enter the new year.
Sunday 9th of January 2022. The lake is as gray as the sky, the cold wind lifts a few waves, the water is at 7 °C, and the air at 1 °C. In unison, the aikidokas, wearing only their dogi, greet the elements and then each other. This is followed by a series of purification cuts with the sword in the direction of the four cardinal points. Vigor and powerful kiai are needed to overcome the cold weather.
Then the jackets are removed and the aikidokas step into the water, barefoot. There they begin the age-old ritual movements from Japan in order to purify themselves and to become one with this beautiful winter nature, with the large lake, the snowy mountains surrounding it, the elegant flight of the seagulls passing by, the two majestic swans strolling, gracious and insensitive to the cold. The clouds part, a ray of wonderful and clear sunshine underlines the end of the practice. Late Hikitsuchi Sensei, 10th Dan, would have said with a smile: “We purified the sky!”
One of the aikidokas gives the following testimonial:
“Whatever my life experiences and whatever burden I have collected this year, the practice of misogi comforts me and fills me with a new energy to face and live fully my life and this new year.”
There are only a few testimonials in English. You can read all of them in the French version.