These days it is easy to get a matcha latte. But few realise that what they are drinking isn’t matcha anything. What they are actually getting is finely ground down green tea powder. Not real matcha 抹茶.
Real matcha 抹茶, depending on your perception, ranges from the sublime down to an acquired taste.
And in the course of experiencing Chanoyu, one comes to have a deep appreciation for what is real and what is not.
Aikido 合気道 is unique, in that it is a modern Japanese “internal” martial art. Its way is based on the concept of flowing water around an obstacle. The interplay between hard and soft. With a strong philosophical focus on the tao through Zen 禪. Ultimately, the graceful movements become an expression of self-cultivation.
This self-cultivation is the tao universally expressed by all enlightened beings.
Aikido does not seek to be a better martial art at fighting opponents. It only seeks to transcend the Aikido master to higher awareness that allows a negative situation to be self-defeating.
Many Aikido masters are also Chanoyu masters. One art flows into the other. Chanoyu helps the master to find the stillness required to understand their opponent, while Aikido helps the master to overcome their opponent.
This in turn is the true essence of real Matcha 抹茶 - overcoming the bitterness so that one can appreciate its sweetness. As Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei once said, “There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing.”