Things Aikido has taught me, #2

I’ve got a long list of lessons I’ve learned from Aikido. There’s a post in the draft folder called  “Six lessons..” but it grew to “Ten lessons…” and then it just kept growing.

I started posting them one at a time.

Here’s one: Trust the technique.

Here’s another: The attacker is the more vulnerable party. They’ve made themselves vulnerable. You can think about this in metaphysical terms, disharmony and harmony, or you can think about in purely physical terms, like momentum and balance.

“What may be totally new to you is that part about the attacker being vulnerable. It usually seems that the person being attacked is the vulnerable one. But the truth of the matter is, when someone attacks you, they commit their body to that attack – at least for an instant. And if, at that instant, you don’t behave as expected – for example, if you move out of the way – that attacker will momentarily lose both physical and mental balance.

It would be like standing in a room and casually leaning against a wall, only to find that what you thought was a wall was only the thinnest of tissue paper. Even though your initial action of leaning was not violent, the aftermath (falling through the tissue-paper wall) would be. In a similar way, Aikido robs attackers of what looked like an easy target, and thereby makes them lose balance.

But Aikido Kokikai takes this idea even further. Suppose somebody else was standing next to that tissue paper wall. And just as they leaned against it and began to lose balance, you gave him a push in the same direction they were falling. How hard would it be to push that person? Pretty easy, right? Well, that’s exactly how Aikido works. We first get the attacker to lose balance. Then we keep him off-balance, and move him where we would like him to go.

This is why you don’t need to be big or strong or young or athletic to do Aikido. You make attackers feel light by taking away their balance, while you maintain your own strong mind/body state.”

See more here.