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Just some thoughts I wrote in my notebook yesterday:
In Aikido, one's weapons and defenses include not only one's own hands and/or the weapons they hold, but also other people.
When I wrote those words, I was thinking about SUKI and the idea that one must work hard to develop one's skills to the point of not having any suki at all.
The first time I read about this I felt that while this was understandable in a martial context, it was bordering on paranoid and obsessive-compulsive in the context of daily life. But then I thought that maybe I didn't understand what it meant not to have suki at all.
Consider our Aikido stance. It's just standing naturally on both feet, with one foot forward and both hands in front of the hara. When I started training in Aikido I was really skeptical of this stance. I kept thinking, "Isn't this too wide open? I'm really vulnerable to an attack if I stand this way." I came to Aikido with a background in Taekwondo, and while I admittedly sucked at it, I at least learned that not having my hands up usually meant a roundhouse kick to the face. Aikido's stance simply didn't make sense to me.
And yet after a few years, I have learned that I can easily move in this stance. From this natural, non-combative posture, it's so easy to tenkan, irimi, and apply technique - all this while being relaxed. And what's more, this is a very non-threatening posture, which means that in a potentially violent situation I have a far better ch