Someone on Facebook recently asked what your sensei says regularly that sticks in your mind & helps inform your Aikido or other Martial Arts practice mentally, physically, or spiritually?
I actually misinterpreted the question as asking about things Sensei says about Aikido that inform my life outside the dojo. Off-the-mat Aikido. Here are the things (not his actual words, of course) that came to mind, plus a few more, that stick with me:
- Constant reminders to settle, check our own posture and alignment. Be in integrity with ourselves.
- Attend to doing what we are doing as well as we can, not to trying to make it affect our partner.
- Notice where we are, and where we are going. Being aware of these things is what allows opportunities for positive transitions to arise.
- Keep our eyes up and see the big picture. Don’t focus attention on the attack.
- Work with others at their level. Help them be safe, and don’t pile on information or levels of detail or finesse they are not yet able to understand.
- It’s not about having a soft or a hard style. It’s about being appropriate to the situation.
- If you operate at the mind-based level of planning each action based on if-then decisions leading to codified responses, you won’t experience freedom in your actions, and you will always be limited in what you can achieve.
- And one that I heard for the first time in tonight’s class, that seems to fit here: If your attacker wants to retreat, build them a golden bridge on which to get away.
Important lessons for every aspect of life.