Aikido is a dynamic art. At it’s best, you should meet an aggressor’s attack, be it punch, kick, stab, or swinging bat, with a fluid blending response that redirects that energy into a flowing technique. In this way, you defend yourself, neutralize the aggressor, and end the threat. Not that I can do this very well, but that is the idea.
Here’s a video of a demonstration. It looks like dance and of course this is a demonstration in a public venue, but I assure you, the training necessary just be the attacker and then take those falls so smoothly is one of the hardest parts of the art.
You don’t start out like this. Heck, you don’t look like this after five years. To learn the basics you need a starting point. To learn to blend, to feel, control, and respond to the aggressor’s energy. In many situations, to begin training, it is done from a grab. You present your wrist, the aggressor grabs it, and from that static position, you begin to learn the rudiments of Aikido.
It becomes an inside joke, “Grab my wrist.”
There are forums and blogs for everything. One of Aikido forums I frequent is AikiWeb. From there I visit some of the blogs they highlight. One of them that I’ve been visiting regularly is called Grab My Wrist. A wonderful blog title. It’s written by another person who came to Aikido in middle age, about her experiences learning and exploring the art.
Last night I clicked on her link to see if she had updated and found this post. It’s a quote from Steve Jobs, who has had some reasons to reflect on his mortality. Serendipity or synchronicity or just randomness, here it is.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.