"The secret of Aikido is not how you use your feet. It is how you use your mind."
Basic to all martial art training is the concept of Zanshin, or mindful awareness. A regular practice of meditation will greatly improve the student's understanding of what is termed "the nature of mind." All physical techniques ultimately reflect and rest in this state of present conscious awareness.
In the early 1990's, after examination of many different Eastern meditation techniques, Shihan Stickles concentrated his practice on the Tibetan system called Dzchogen. This is an open-eyed, inclusive sitting technique. His principal teacher is Dean Sluyter , practice leader of Dzogchen Center of New Jersey. Mr. Sluyter is a senior student of Lama Surya Das , renowned author and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.
ASNJ students are given instruction in the principles of this technique, and, while only a small portion of class time is devoted directly to meditation, students are encouraged to develop a regular sitting practice of their own. Hand-to-hand self-defense techniques become a form of moving meditation.
Each Saturday morning, a regular meeting of Dzogchen Center of New Jersey, led by Mr. Sluyter, is conducted at the dojo in Roselle Park. Any member of the general public is invited to this Saturday morning sitting session with Dean free of charge. Additional instruction in this meditation technique is readily available.
Meditaion, sword work, and hand-to-hand self-defense techniques formulate the basis for Shihan Stickles' Sit, Cut, and Throw CurriculumTM.