Aikido and whiskey talk

It has been a while since I’ve written a blog. Mainly because of lack of time and the many many great things we did in between. Like the whiskey wasting this weekend. Together with 2 of our students we went on a scavenger hunt for tasting the best whiskeys we could find. Maybe it’s the whiskey talking after a long day, but it’s amazing how much whiskey and Aikido have in common! 

Let’s start with the area where the whiskey is made: it defines the flavour because of the soil, climate and many other things. Of course Aikido started out in Japan, but it has spread trough the whole world. And like in whiskey, the area defines the Aikido; trough the culture of the country for example. In Japan teachers usually don’t like to explain to much about what they are doing, but in France they have no problem talking about the techniques they are doing. It changes the way of training: knowledge based or experience based. This has nothing to do with good or bad, it is all part of searching for something that suits you. 

Once you’ve found an area that you like you can look for the brewery (dojo) you like. Usually they have more than one caskets to ripe the whiskey in. This is the same in our Ando dojo. Even though the teachers are the same for all 3 locations, every location is different. New dojo’s tend to have more students with lower levels, which will change the training given by the teacher. When you are training with a beginner it feels more raw and less fluent compared to training with a more advanced student. The same goes for whiskey. We’ve tried the €312,- bottle of Glengoyne 25y. And you could really taste the rich flavour palet. It is so much more sophisticated than the others, you almost want to buy it!

Does this mean all the others lack quality? No. There is no wrong here, it’s a matter of personal flavour. That’s the beauty I realised at this tasting ‘seminar’.  There are many flavours out there! You’ve got to go out and try them!! Go to Aikido seminars, train with different sensei. Don’t write down a sensei too quickly because it might be the casket/dojo he’s in. They only way to find out is trying as many as you can. (But by personal experience, there is a limit… after 12 whiskeys it’s hard to separate one from the other.) Good luck finding the Aikido flavour that suits you.