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Old 02-05-2009, 11:36 PM   #9
Joe McParland
 
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Dojo: Sword Mountain Aikido & Zen
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 309
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Re: The Challenge of Not Competing

If I roll my dog on his back and hold him by the neck, there is a very primal response that goes well beyond words - presumably even if I could reason with the dog and explain that it is not my intent to dominate with this action.

At a very basic, primal level, in alternating between the roles of uke and nage, we condition *ourselves* not to be swayed with what instinctually appears as competitive threat and not to act dominantly in wanting to destroy a threat.

This balances the practitioner - victory over self.

Outside the dojo, I am now hopefully less likely to be drawn instinctually into conflict. My tendencies to assert my will, to need to be right, and so forth, can be controlled. Moreover, I know that I can brush off ocassionally yielding to get through the day, particularly when cornered in a fight or flight situation.

Once I am not ruled by the instincts, I am free. I can assert or yield as the situation demands to accomplish my own objectives. I can now compete without being swayed by competition - "do without doing."

I'm not at odds with Kevin here; we've hashed out our understanding in past threads. I'm just trying to reason through my own understanding a little more deeply.

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