“shichiten hakki” fall down seven times, stand up eight times
Like any other sports regular Aikidō practice, too, has quite obvious positive effects on body and mind. Endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination are improved, breathing, concentration,
self-esteem and confidence are deepened. The necessary cooperation with and (friendly) rivalry among practice partners help to find pleasure in socializing and are often source of longterm
Training in Aikidō also promotes an intense joy in the pulsating movement, the sweat driving practice and the (blissful) exhaustion. Beyond the concentration and effort you can see and hear more clearly, smell and taste more intensely, and attain a feeling of yourself, your partner and your environment, which can only be described as immediate and invigorating. That alone will already substantially increase the quality of life of each Aikidō practitioner.
Moreover, even more than in any other sports you will ingrain another fundamental attitude, which will have an impact on your whole life. However you want to describe a typical Aikidō training session, there is no way around the fact that it consists essentially of two training partners alternately throwing each other to the ground, over and over again. And no matter how often you go to the ground, you stand up again, no matter how exhausted you are. In Japanese, this is described with the saying "shichiten hakki" (fall down seven times, get up eight times), which at the same time signifies tenacity and an irrepressible will power.
With every workout, with every fall to the floor and every decision to stand up and go at it again, you will unwittingly incorporate this obstinacy and make this irrepressible will power a part of your self, both for training, as well as for your daily life.
(Author: Max Seinsch)