Sunday, July 20, 2014


Aikido has us accept our opponents energy and permit it to continue only in a way that benefits us.  You know, instead of their intention to kick our asses.  The best way to do this is to let them win. (continue in the direction they were headed) While doing this you most often are required to pivot so that you are actually facing the SAME direction as your attacker.  I refer to this as looking through their eyes.  This allows you to PHYSICALLY gain a unique perspective. Which in turn will then allow you better move them they way you wish. To put this into an emotional or spiritual context what if the attack is verbal?  eg; Why is this person attacking me?  What did I do?  Do I know them? If neither case is positive then one must assume you either are just a convenient target or set off negative stimuli to an already bad day.

Now you have 3 choices.  2 are good and one not so much.

1: Walk away and ignore the jibes and contrite insults.  Let them roll off your back and head to a new place to enjoy your time.

2: Get just as angry and get into the fight but calling them names and waiting for the inevitable physical conflict to begin.  Yes relish it and see their blood flow!!!! QAPLA!!!

3: Enjoy the jibe (seemingly) Laugh along, poke at yourself or listen to the argument and ask some questions in regards to their anger that get them to tell you why you piss them off.  Or why your friend has done so.  It can't always be about you right?

Can you guess which is the most likely to end badly?

Well 1: will probably end with nothing happening or the verbal abuse gets louder and they find a new target till they get the response they want.

2: Chances are this will result in someone in hospital, someone in handcuffs, and a lot of feeling stupid later.  Or maybe you are he type that prides themselves in crushing someone with problems that you never took the time to become aware of. Which leads to 3 and Aikido the Emotional / Spiritual.

provided by Aikido Journal
3: Let's face it, everyone has a reason why they get angry and why they get angry at someone else, strangers or otherwise.  If you agree to that then you have already learned Aikido Basic movement 2 The Entering and avoidance stance. (95 degree pivot) Tai No Henko Ni.  You see the attack and you open to avoid it. Then enter the space in control of the attack. In that BRIEF moment you are looking from the same place as your assailant. Seeing through their eyes.  You have the ability then to decide, antagonize or resolve.  To resolve is to find a outcome that makes both people happy, or at least calmed and resolved.

You could laugh and self deprecate.  Anything that lets them know you see what they see and maybe ask them what they are into?  Catch them off balance with "what did I do to upset you" or recognise something on them that you may like yourself.  Find a connection and point it out.  Now you have them off balance and de-escalating.  Find the anger point and sympathize and continue the connection. (not patronize because that's just arrogant and stupid... while you're at it poke a bees nest with a stick)

Either take this opportunity to leave or go for a drink together... that's up to you.  Use your best judgement. You should have some to have obtained this point in the conflict.  Remember this could also be an acquaintance or friend or loved one.  The physical outcome may be less likely (or more as I don't know your friends) therefore easier to find what you did wrong and resolve it.

There is a story in legend about an Aikido senior of Morihei Ueshiba, Terry Dobson (American in Japan) looking to make his mark as a hero and prove his metal as an Aikido practitioner.  Instead he get's schooled by an old man on the train. The wake up call of re-evaluating his reasons for taking the art.  Enjoy.

Yours in Clay & water

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