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Tonites class was amazing. I found out how injured my shoulder is and also learned how to injure my ankle. Both on the left side, so maybe I also now have experience in protecting my right side. I have yet to figure out why that matters, but anyway...
At the end of class Sensei said tonites class was one of discovery - how to discover your Aikido and discover your technique. He explained this by saying with each person the attack is different, stressing dynamic attacks but at the same time implying you have to relearn with every new partner. You have to discover.
Somehow when he described tonite's lesson as a discovery, my mind went back to 1492, back when Christopher Columbus sailed his "pinata" (I know, that wasn't the real name but I bet it was built like one). This was back when if your ukemi wasn't tight enough, Columbus Sensei would throw you off the boat so that the sharks could "discover" how many ways to devour you!
Wow - did I just rant without making a single bit of sense? Well, apologies. Tonite's discoveries will no doubt leave a mental mark. Awesome class!!
Class last night was incredible. A handful of people got hit with swords, one person on multiple occasions (that was me). At the end of class sensei made the point that it is important to fail. I think that statement is often undervalued. He underlined that point by saying there is value in not focusing only on getting things right. It seems like what he was trying to convey is how much can be learned by not letting yourself stop when you get something wrong. When you move the wrong way, keep going. Commitment to the path will eventually show you the right way.
Do the technique wrong. Get up and do it again. Do the technique right. Get up and do it again.
It's difficult to let go of the desire to be right. Children could teach us a lot in that regard. Fearlessly, children do things not yet knowing what is right, but rather out of curiousity to find out what is right. They are "beginner humans" and effortlessly maintain the beginner's mind that is so often coveted. Last night's class is over but the learning hasn't stopped yet.
With the title of this post, it would seem there isn't much else to say. But there seems to be a constant debate in the forums about this so apparently there really is quite a bit to discuss.
Let's start with a good question and this is a question you should ask anyone that might attack you:
Do you know Aikido (or Kung Fu)?
If your attacker responds that they do in fact know Aikido and Kung Fu, then you are good to go. Aikido will definitely work in these scenarios because your attacker is obviously trained in the correct way to attack you according to these styles, providing you with the ability to react to that specific attack.
If your attacker does not know Aikido or Kung fu but they are very skilled in Cardio Kick Boxing, then allow them to attack you. When they are through, enroll in a Cardio Kick Boxing class at your local fitness center.