Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Infectious self-discipline

What is it, exactly, that we are doing in aikido and judo?  Ostensibly, we are learning to trash bozos, right?
Well, best as I can tell, at least my working thesis right now is that what we are actually trying to do in both aikido and judo (real judo - beyond competitive sport application)...
We are trying to develop the ability to retain such exquisite control over the self that not only can an opponent not exert control over you, but you can use that self-discipline to lead the opponent back toward balance and sanity.  Aikido (and good judo too) is supposed to be infectious, winsome self-discipline.
That sound's kinda crazy, doesn't it?  Sounds like some of the nonsense that Morihei was always spewing, doesn't it?  Sounds like a Utopian dream to me.
But lately, I've been seeing more and more ways that this is both foundational and practically applicable in both aikido and judo, and it's been suggested to me that jodo is the same way.  It's funny how all our bozo-trashin' crash&smash death waza get right back around to Morihei's hippie poetry.

By means of the way

Call out the misguided enemy
Advance and persuade him with words of instruction
Through the Sword of Love.

[photo courtesy of Yupa]

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Patrick Parker

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