April 2008 Castle Rock AIKIDO Student of the Month
Michael Kilman studies Cultural Anthropology at Metro State University in Denver. When he's not deep in the books, Michael is an Intuitive Life Coach who helps others to find a sense of peace in their lives. He also works part-time as a freelance videographer. He's been training at Castle Rock AIKIDO since last summer. Michael grew up in Philadelphia, had a short stint in Portland, Oregon, and have lived in Castle Rock for 11 years.
Michael, what are some of your hobbies in addition to Aikido?
"I spend a lot of time reading and meditating. I like to be in the outdoors and especially love the ocean, even though I live in Colorado. I like hiking and playing with my two young children, Francis and Gabriella."
What other martial arts have you trained?
"I trained briefly at an Aiki-Jujitsu, but I feel much more at home at Castle Rock AIKIDO. Even though my other teachers were great, I always felt like there was something missing, and Castle Rock AIKIDO is really like a big family. Everyone is wonderfully accepting of each other and is there to help each other learn and grown on a personal level, not just a martial arts level."
What do you like best about Aikido?
"Aikido is very similar to what I do with people on a daily basis. Aikido teaches you to stop and think about how you deal with conflict. It lets you step outside of yourself for a moment and see not only how you could try to do the technique differently, but how to deal with other aspects of your life differently. It works hand in hand perfectly with the transformational meditation that I do everyday. I think Aikido also teaches a person to remain calm in stressful situations and that, itself, can be an extremely valuable tool."
Why did you select Aikido as opposed to other martial art styles?
"I was told that Aikido was a more spiritual path; that it was a path of personal growth and change. After some research, I discovered that it was perfectly aligned with my goals as a person. I think Aikido helps me to be more well-rounded and it is nice to have a physical path towards spiritual growth. I think people often associate spirituality with the non-physical, but Aikido is proof that spiritual growth can be a very physical path! I feel my mind and body grow in harmony with one another, and I feel that the contrasting teaching styles of Castle Rock AIKIDO really push that harmony along. Additionally, since I have started Aikido I have changed my whole attitude on physical health for the better."
Why do you think others should practice Aikido?
"I think anyone who is interested on trying to make positive changes in their life should at least try Aikido as one means toward achieving that change. Aikido presents us with a rare opportunity; one we don't normally have in our society. It gives us an open place to explore and attempt personal change with the support of two wonderful teachers who are willing to go above and beyond the simple title of "teacher." It is very difficult to find such an environment that fosters this kind of tremendous personal change and growth. Castle Rock AIKIDO is definitively the place to do just that."
Anything else you'd like to offer about your experience at Castle Rock AIKIDO?
"I think we should recognize how important it is to learn to blend with and redirect conflict. Be it internal or external, there is conflict all around us. Aikido is a tool we can use to address conflict and to try to look at it from another perspective. Conflict is a part of life, and if you learn how to deal with it in a calm, rational manner many obstacles that life presents us with can become non-existent. Sometimes, when the sun shines on an object from a different direction, the image appears to change entirely. Similarly, Aikido helps me to look at my life in a different way, and many of my problems seem virtually non-existent."
Learn more about Michael's Intuitive Life Coaching services at: www.michaelkilman.com
We are blessed with a great group of students at Castle Rock AIKIDO. We welcome you to come and meet them and our teachers. You can even try a class for free. Visit www.craikido.com for more information.