New Schedule and Location for 2016

Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays from 8-9PM at Rejoice Dance Studio, 1418 Delaware Avenue, McComb MS.

Mutual Fault and Blame-sharing

I have said it many times, and my instructors before me, and theirs before them all the way back to Kano - Judo is about Mutual Welfare and Benefit.  I know that's sort of a loose translation of the principle of Jita Kyoei, but it's a common translation and as good as any.
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But Human Animal Males (HAMs) tend to fail to get the mutual benefit thing, or we get it in an incomplete sense.  It just does not make deep visceral sense to some of us that we are doing a deadly martial combat thing with a partner instead of an enemy - that our main goal is to improve both the self and the other.
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Sometimes we start class out with some vague admission or nod to Jita Kyoei, or at least with some pseudo-Japanese etiquette, but then we inevitably end up with an uke that doesn't work quite like we want and we get into this vicious cycle of pushing harder, causing uke to resist harder or do ukemi more un-naturally, which causes tori to struggle more, which makes uke more miserable...
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So, let me try to put it in different terms - one syllable each...
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If your arm gets hurt it is both folks' fault.
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If your elbow (or whatever else) gets bent, tori should not have pushed that hard, and uke should not have stood there and let tori push that hard.  It is almost always possible for uke to yield (and to yield productively) to force rather than to stand against it.  It is almost always possible for Tori to get the effect you're looking for with far less struggle.
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But since this issue  ALWAYS crops up, maybe we're all just knuckleheads who are addicted to power and bent on making our artistic pursuits so difficult that they are self-destructive.  I think that is likely the case.  We are all idiots.
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So, maybe it would do us some good to approach our practice from the angle that we really are ALL idiots, and search for ways to prevent the other guy from mashing our own personal triggers that throw our own personal form of stupid into high gear.  What are my triggers that make me stupid, and what are the ways that other people push those buttons during a conflict?  How can I respond productively to someone mashing my stupid button?
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Maybe we should approach aikido and judo from the idea of working on ourselves rather than from the perspective of applying the power of our will effectively to someone else.
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Have I heard that idea somewhere before?



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Patrick Parker
www.mokurendojo.com