Aikido is one of those arts that just does not come naturally. Punching and kicking comes naturally, so does grabbing someone and trying to push or pull them over and onto the floor. Not that Karate and Judo dont require skill, but you build on something you already have with these arts, with Aikido you start with nothing.
I have to agree with that to some extent. Isn't that what we all instinctively did when we got into fights as kids? We did what seemed like a reasonable action. Punch the other guy in the stomach and try to pin him to the ground.
How many people are born with the ability to instinctly step out of the way of someone coming at them full force.
There was an experience that i've always remembered because it really changed my thinking a bit.
Some of my friends gave me bad time because of my "new age hippie dancing" One time one of them even challenged me and i started to step out of the way but he got to me first and gave me a good sock in the stomach, knocking the wind out of me. Some of the other guys started chuckling a bit. A million things were running through my mind, anger, frustration, confusion, fear. All I could bring myself to do is get my breath back and say "What the hell did that prove?"
I tried to say it meaningfully. But when i said it, it sounded as if someone just gave me a real awful insult, and the comeback I gave only made me look more pathetic. A few of them laughed again as i said this.
Shortly after I walked home feeling miserable almost on the verge of tears, thinking about the other martial arts around the town that were available, and went to sleep.
But then the next morning I really did think about that. "What did you prove?"
I keep thinking back to that question. what DID they prove? That they can hurt someone? why would you want to prove that? Why would anyone want to prove that? What an awfull thing to prove.
And that was when i decided I really wanted to commit to my training.
Don't know how relevent that was to this thread. but for some reason reading all of these posts made me think of that experience.