What I Do For “ME TIME”


Santa After Christmas Eve

Whew, it’s all done and over with for another year!

After the pace I’ve been on these past several weeks, I’m ready for some ME TIME!  Lest you misunderstand me here, I love the holiday season.  There are the social events with co-workers, the dojo, friends and family gatherings that are pleasant activities (for the most part).  We have a “Christmas stroll” down main street in our town with caroling, eggnog and tasty goodies.  I’ve certainly added a few extra pounds to ward off the cold Montana winter by enjoying some yummy holiday fare.

Hold on, you say. This site is supposed to be about Aikido and not some guy’s holiday over indulgence.  This is a serious blog for serious Aiki students!

That’s right, just hang in, and trust that this post is about our passion for Aikido.

Seriously thought, I have to admit that my nerves are a little frayed and my brain a bit overloaded.  Why wouldn’t I feel like this? It’s been crazy busy!

My email inbox has had a minimum of 10 – 15 messages everyday urging me to take advantage of special holiday offers and savings!  Add to that, the bombardment of ads I see daily on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites that I follow. If I watched TV it would be even worst.

There’s also the well meaning holiday greetings and notes.  Courtesy demands I reply.  God knows there’s also working for living to be done!  It’s enough to make a sane man into a frazzled mess seeking out a stiff drink and quiet space.

I NEED ME TIME!  As we said back in the day  “to check out.”  Usually this means I’m headed outdoors to cast a fly rod, work my Brittanys in the field or enjoy a walking trail while my wife snaps photos of the wildlife.   My leisurely activities usually involve some level of physical activity. My wife says that I should have been diagnosed decades ago with some sort of malady – I just can’t sit still (unless I’m in zazen).  Well I can and do relax without moving about.  That downtime activity my friend is – surprise  – reading a good tale!

book glasses milkSometime back, I discovered a suspense thriller author who is also an Aikidoka.  Dan Linden is an exceptional writer of first and foremost Aikido related books.  He has authored numerous books on the subject.  Including one book with Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, the Soke of Aikido Schools of Usehiba that I belong to.  Dan is more than qualified to write about Aikido having over 50 years on the mat experience, rokyudan  (6th degree black belt) and chief instructor at his own school http://shoshindojo.com

“Mastering Aikido” along with  “On Mastering Ukemi” are classics and widely available at most fine book retailers.  He’s also written several other fiction and non-fiction books.  But I enjoy Dan’s Aikido Mystery series the most.  These stories reference our world: The Aikido Dojo.  His primary fictional character, Sensei Parker, is also a private investigator.  The book series chronicle Parker’s adventures on classical “who done it” tales with an “irimi tenkan” twist.

Told you this article was about Aikido!  If you’re looking for a little quite reading time pick-up one of these (or all of Dan’s) books.  They are a great entertainment available in print or eBook format.


kindle reader

The Aikido Mystery Series is presently up to 7 installments, each one more fun than the last. I just read “Chaga Pirates” http://amzn.to/1Cyf10S – the latest novella and before that “Aikido Carumba” http://amzn.to/1tc1iEr

Both book received my immediate my 5 Star approval rating.  These books are a great break from all the serious material I’m constantly reading (and I can honestly claim to be reading about Aikido)!

Here is the link to Dan Linden’s Amazon page, including his personal favorite “The Content of Character” http://amzn.to/1HTlKAA

Click on any book’s  “look inside” for a sample.  You won’t be disappointed.


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