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There seem to be two true victories in Aikido, and they may go hand-in-hand. One aim is to achieve self-victory. Another is to heal an aggressor with love.
I believe the first victory I listed has to come first, and then it must be ever-maintained. Whether through keiko, meditation, or misogi through physical cleansing, self-victory cannot be achieved all of a sudden and stay with a person who has a passive attitude toward what he or she has "accomplished."
Due to increasing medicine side-effects, I was no longer capable of the cardiovascular and anaerobic endurance required to make it through an Aikido class, at least not with any enjoyment whatsoever. In fact, my many attempts were quite dysphoric. I could no longer return to the Source through meditation. Haircuts, shaving, showers, and reading books on spirituality seem the only forms of misogi I have left. These vehicles alone have not sufficed when it comes to maintenance of self-victory. I estimate that for about a year, I felt an inner peace that money, beyond its necessity to cover my moderate expenses, was green and white paper (with little blue and red threads). I have lost enough of that inner peace to certainly miss it, wondering if I'll feel it again someday. Money is still not a huge motivator for me, although I do have a taste for good things, especially good food, and as of late, high-quality art supplies.
Anyway, as to not turn this into a pure autobiography, I should further discuss my main points.
As the Faithless lyric goes, "Walking through the world with no pressure, in a peace beyond measure..." With such a mind state, I was able to think clearly, naturally avoiding dangers without the emotion of fear. When an aggressor senses the fearlessness and calm of a potential victim, he or she rethinks his or her plan. If a verbal aggression does ensue for multiple potential reasons, a person at peace can demonstrate love and empathy for the aggressor instead of matching egos shout for shout. A person without anything to prove to begin with will not get worked up, and will be able to sublty subdue the aggressor with the "sword of no-sword," or "the sword that gives life," or "the sword of love."
This has not happened to me in a life-or-death sense, but there may be instances when a physical attack just arrives all of a sudden. This is when the physical techniques, coupled with a clear, peaceful mind, might enter the scenario. Probably most Aikidoka will not have to deal with such a situation in their entire lives. However, with a superiority attitude (far from self-victory) that I have seen some Aikidoka develop, overconfidence follows suit. With no statistical data nor scientific study of any kind, I believe with my gut (conscious, preconscious, and unconscious minds) that overconfident people encounter more attack situations than those in a placid, down-to-earth mentality.
09-27-2009, 04:53 PM
I will share one experience on this.
My brother trained in martial arts many years ago, while at university. During this time he became very good, physically. He was fast, strong and..I believe...over-confident.
In that period of his life he was also involved in two fights. The first occurred at 11pm while he was walking home from university. Two men attempted to mug him. He fought them off, they got nothing but he needed counselling afterwards.
The second encounter was not so one-sided. He took exception to what a guy was doing in a parking lot. The other guy escalated the situation and another fight ensued. Again, my brother came out of this without physcial harm.
In both these instances, my brother had the technical skills and luck to overcome the situation physically. However, his training had not prepared him for the mental and emotional side-effects.
I don't believe (at that time in his life) he had the inner calm you refer to.
He has moved on from this time in his life and has found his own spirituality which has made him a calmer person. He has not found himself in physcial confrontations either. A coincidence?
I much appreciate your ten pence. He is a great example of trying to be overconfident at first, and then coming close to, or at, peace-of-mind. I would actually give you a couple British Pound Sterlings for your post. I only have one on me at the moment, a gift from an English friend. I know I'm swaying off my own topic, but I like it how the English say, "went to university," instead of the American, "went to college." I hope the world comes together sometime, but I also hope that we keep much of our ethnic and national culture. This is the spice of life.
09-29-2009, 05:17 PM
Just for the record...I'm not English. I'm from New Zealand. Although our english is derived from the UK version.
So we use dollars and cents, but use the word university :)
My aunt used to go skiing there often. I also have a friend who lives in Auckland. I never stop hearing what a beautiful country it is. Your flag has the Union Jack on it, but it is only in a corner. I believe the English flag is white with a red cross. My fault. A few National Geographics ago mentioned your country's amazing park with I think two pretty mountains. I need to check that out some day, but what a long flight! Plus I have a friend in Adelaide, so I really need to be careful about making Britishisms only English. It is just that when I hear aluminium, whilst, or other such rubbish ;-) my first culprit is the English!
I would like for this thread to get back on topic if possible, and I know I'm not helping much...
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