Letter About Ego

Letter From Matthew

Some years ago, Cagdas-sensei asked his students to write a few words about the concept of ego and what it means to a person. To each student, it was something different.

The text shown below is Matthew Bobea's thoughts on the essence of the word.

The Precincts of Ego

The ego is inevitability. From the instant one steps onto the tatami to the moment they bow out of the dojo their ego is apparent. At the start of one's journey in aikido the ego can be channeled into motivation. It works as a stimulus to counteract ones ghi; as new and confident students practice their ego is pressured onto others in a circumlocutory manner. Within a preponderance of new students, the ego is always apparent, even in the most negligible way. The ego however, is unharmonious and places a limit on an aikido’s practitioner’s progress on the long term. As the student progresses, he or she must progressively alleviate themself from the ego as much as possible with the intention of abiding their self development through aikido practice.

The routes of the ego stems from their ku and insecurity. When a student is completely confident in both their technique and their approach, there will be no obligation for the ego and their technique will delve into completion. The solitary method of segregating one's self from the ego is through experience and training. When we practice we become conscious, not only of our technique but of how we ripen and develop. Such that one may determine and then rectify a mistake in a technique, the same philosophy and consequences come into form when we intermingle amongst one another both on and off the tatami. If one can not diminish their ego in proportionate to their training then they will never walk the true path of Budo.

Matthew Bobea

Eurasian Aikido Organization

Aikido of NYU Dojo