Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > External Aikido Blog Posts

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-09-2009, 03:00 AM   #1
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
True Self Defense


This was first published in 2005...

True Self Defense

Let us look at the nature of “Self Defense”. There are two kinds of self defense and one is merely a distortion of the other. The first Self Defense is authentic. It is the evolutionary, biological right of any animal to defend its life and those of its family or social group. With humans this involves the development of certain skills coupled with the addition of technical development. The skills and technology of True Self Defense are simply an extension of those developed for survival over hundreds of thousands of years. So True Self Defense is the defense of the physical body when under some threat.

The distorted form of Self Defense is not authentic and is the result of illusion. It is based on the instinct for self preservation on which authentic Self Defense is founded but it is distorted by the illusion of self identity under which most people operate. In other words from the time of our birth we develop a series of self images which we put forward as “who we are.” These self images or “primary selves” are who we consciously believe we are and reflect the ways in which we have learned through our personal experience to exist in the world.

The problem is that this is not really who we are. There is a whole series of “disowned selves” who from infancy we have learned to put away from our consciousness. The more we identify with these “primary selves” the more energy it takes to maintain that incomplete self image, that illusion of who we are.


So what we do as human beings is to devote most of our energy to trying to maintain our false, conditioned construction of ourselves. Anything that threatens that sense of identity feels like a threat to our very survival (whereas it is only a threat to the survival of the false identity). We seek out companions and experiences that support our false sense of self and yet at the same time there is a counter drive for us to look inward towards our deeper nature.

All aggressive behavior that is not True Self Defense is the result of this false identification with the mental constructs that create our “primary selves” and the fundamental reluctance and fear we have to recognizing that we are not who we maintain we are. We will distance from, attack, divorce, etc. anyone who threatens our fundamental sense of who we are and we tend to seek out people and activities that reinforce the identity we put forth to the world (and ourselves). To have this sense of self threatened is experienced as a survival issue by the conditioned self.

So most of what we see as “Self Defense” is the distorted use of aggression in defense of false notions of who we are. This can lead to personal violence or it can manifest as violence between social groups, fighting to maintain their collective self illusions.

So the only way that we can be sure that we engage only in “True Self Defense” is to get in touch with our True Selves, the unconditioned essential Identity that underlies all these “primary” and “disowned” selves. Only when we cease falsely identifying with our illusions of who we are can we be free of the need to “defend” the false self.

O-Sensei’s vision of what Aikido should be is just this. He looked to create the true “Spiritual Warrior.” He stated that “True victory is Self victory.” This victory is nothing less than experiencing who we really are, not as separate little identities which require constant defense to maintain but as our True Selves which are an integral part of the undifferentiated Universe.

Aikido practice is designed to teach “True Self Defense” while it simultaneously seeks the cessation of the distorted False Self Defense. It can only do that if there is an internal component to the practice.

Students can not, as most tend to do, seek out training that merely acts as a reinforcement of who they already think they are. Many dojos are nothing more than mutual admiration societies which allow like minded individuals to not experience the discomfort that comes with the need to let go of the false self images that we al carry. At the same time other dojos are merely places in which fearful people mutually develop an illusion of strength through tough martial practice but never confront the fundamental need to let go of these defense in order to make fundamental change.

So even as we study the techniques of True Self Defense we must simultaneously be putting our attention on developing the direct experience of our True Natures. Until the time at which all human beings have experienced their true selves there will be a need for the martial techniques of True Self Defense but it is only as Spiritual Warriors who have done battle with their own internal demons that we can operate on this level which is the “Spirit of Loving Protection” of which the Founder spoke.

- George Ledyard


More...

Last edited by akiy : 08-09-2009 at 03:42 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,811
United_States
Offline
Re: True Self Defense

it's really hard to defense against oneself. the bugger always lurked somewhere waiting for the right moment when you were down, then jumped out kick you in the gonad. that bastard has no mercy whatsoever. it's easier to just run and hide, instead of embracing that dark-self and live whole. self defense is tough business. it's a great marketing tool, though!
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
One True Way R.A. Robertson Columns 6 01-27-2012 12:00 PM
Full Speed Randori and Self Defense smithid General 40 12-28-2009 12:24 AM
Article: True Self Defense by George S. Ledyard AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 21 09-06-2004 01:43 AM
Self defense against what??? Yann Golanski General 11 08-26-2004 03:13 PM
The Telescope DaveO General 11 07-16-2004 10:11 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:29 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate