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As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
This particular passage of the bible has always resonated with me, especially in my training of Aikido; and this is what makes Aikido so special.
When we attack each other, we attack so that our partner can become better. It's a selfless thing to do.
I'm not attacking you to prove I'm better. I'm not attacking you to "win" the fight. I'm not attacking you to show off.
And please make a special note to this one:
I'm not attacking you to make you look good, either.
I'm giving you a sincere attack, and really trying to hit you, so that you can learn and become better. If I've hit you, you've failed, and guess what, you get to try again. I'll do the exact same attack and give you another chance to learn the technique. If you don't get it after four tries, then it's my turn. And I really what to improve. I want my Aikido to really work, so please attack me, don't be afraid, I won't hurt you, I want to learn how to use your energy to defend myself and at the same time protect you from injury.
I remember once, an Aikido instructor, instructed me to "Take Ukemi" or I would get hurt. After 20 years of Aikido, I've realized, that although he said he was teaching Aikido, it was really a form of Jujutsu, where if you don't submit, you will get injured.
Did you know that O'Sensei said somewhere along the lines that you need to treat your attacker like a baby, and not hurt him...