As we move through the next few weeks and possibly months during the Covid-19 crisis, it’s important to keep our mind, body, and spirit alive through aikido. It’s more important than ever to develop focus as the world is going through unstable times.

Developing focus requires practice and patience. It allows you to remain calm during a storm and make wise decisions. In Aikido, there are many ways to develop focus. Sensei Gentil Pennewaert Shihan is continually working on improving himself with daily aikido exercises which he has shared in many of the YouTube videos online. Take time to practice these valuable lessons as you can only improve with practice. There is no secret. If you do something over and over again, you will become better and elevate your understanding to improve even more.

The following bokken lesson can be performed as an individual or in groups of two or more. If you have a wooden bokken, foamed sword or even a long walking stick, this exercise can easily be practiced outdoors or in a space with high ceilings. Of course, if you have low ceilings or in a confined space, you would need a shorter stick to perform this lesson. Whichever your situation may be, you can watch and practice this exercise to develop coordination, focus, timing, physical agility and strength. After a continual strike of 15-minutes, you will notice an increase in heart rate and warm-up. We suggest that you drink plenty of fluids before and after. If you don’t have an extra person, you can prop up a target like a wooden block, statue or even a stuffed animal. For the children, practice safety. You can tie a string across tie chairs and see if they touch the string. For every touch, the consequence is 5 push-ups the first time and 10 push-ups the second time. Fun for the whole family!!

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