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i had my second systema class yesterday, and i wanted to chronicle my thoughts and feelings on it before it becomes a too distant memory.
at this initial point of my foray into a second martial art, i'm thoroughly enjoying the training sessions of both aikido and systema.
i find the training so different yet similar. it really does feel like i'm exploring both sides of the same coin.
in aikido, i find joy in the purity of the attack and subsequent movements/techniques that come with it. the feeling of flow in the movements, and the attempts of perfecting every little subtle nuance is pure and beautiful.
in systema, the joy comes from being in the midst of chaos, and the resulting spontaneity and fluidity of the movements. if one were to use the 'shu ha ri' framework loosely, i'd say the training sessions i've participated in so far started immediately in the 'ha' bit and i imagine would be moving towards the 'ri' components soon [relative to aikido at least].
when i have the time, i might talk more about the specific differences that i find between the arts, but these are my key emotive responses that i have noted thus far.
i'm a little concerned about if/when my journey on both these paths might clash, but i hope i'll be able to deal with that situation appropriately. until then, i intend to enjoy training sincerely in both.
i do that so well that it applies to me not only at the physical/technical level, as well as the philosophical, psychological and spiritual level as well.
i've learnt that aikido is not about fighting. several times now. but i keep forgetting that. and then i learn it again. and then i forget.
i've learnt it again today. but i'll probably forget. but before i do that, i better write it down here first. =)
for my own future reference, today's mini-satori contained the image of a small 'slice' of area between the world of fighting and the world of dance. and aikido being both and neither. it was a path that *could* be one or the other, but was also completely unique and separate. it can, and is, a perfectly blissful, satisfying and complete enterprise on its own, but is commonly perceived as either a fighting art or a 'dance', simply because the lack of ability of the perceiver to perceive that special space between.
"the harder one tries to find ki, the more it eludes us. but he who never searches for it, will never find it."
perhaps it is the same in my quest of understanding, conceptualising and attempts to categorise aikido in a neat little box, labeled "martial art". rather than try to see and fit aikido to what we want it to be, perhaps we should see it for what it is.