This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays.
Yin-Yang, In-Yo, Ki-To
Give-Take, Wax-Wane, Ebb-Flow
This idea is so obviously universal to martial arts as well as just simply being the way that the world works, that it is surprising to me that we don't talk about Reciprocity more than we do. It seems like we have lots of language to describe this phenomenon, but something about it still makes it elusive. This concept is Tao, but it is not just Tao. Consider...
To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
No, that's not The Byrds, or Pete Seeger. It's a bit older than them and it is an expression of Reciprocity. But this is also not just some tye-died hippie ideal. It is the way of the world. Take for instance the fascinating, and martially useful phenomenon of Reciprocal Inhibition.
This brings to mind a great lecture by Henry Kono Sensei (which doesn't appear to be available on YouTube any longer), in which he recounts asking Morihei Ueshiba, "Why can't we do the things that you can do?" To which Ueshiba replied, "Because I understand yin-yang and you do not."
[photo courtesy of The Last Minute]