Many a times in the dojo, we pretend that we know what we are doing when we attack or our uke attacks. We wear masks with a pretentiousness, face it. As real as we possibly can, we still pretend a little. is this hypocrisy or is hypocrisy life?
I can’t say that I fully understand what I do or what my uke do at times. this is the difficulty in training. The understanding part. through the physical expression of Aikido, our lack of self understanding is exposed. We can simply say, ‘ I don’t understand him!’. truth to the matter, we don’t understand ourselves in relation to him. The ‘him’, external to us has his own set of problems do deal with, it is not his job to make himself be understood. even as much as he can try, to his best ability to enable himself to be better understood, it is still never within our capacity to understand him. The problem lies in us.
We have to understand ourselves, ‘he’ exists to help us. Without ‘him’, we cannot see ourselves. our uke helps us to see us, and understands our being a little better. The body doesn’t lie, the mind doesn’t lie, but tries to hide the truth, from the truth. when that happens, body movement becomes incoherent, ‘off centre’ as its commonly said. when this happens, our partner, another human being will be able to exploit this state. if our partner, is more off centred that we are, we will be able to exploit this state too.
This is the state of pretending. we can’t help but pretend at times, it’s the mind’s defense mechanism. the ego always has something worth defending and protecting. Aikido is the antidote to that pretentiousness, as the manifested reality to combat our skills of being a hypocrite.
I still pretend, but I pretend less than my junior. My sensei also pretends, and he pretends less than me. And when I pretend to train with my sensei, the magic is absent. Because he can easily exploit my off centeredness and send my flying, I cannot pretend and have no time to pretend when I am training with my sensei. I have to make extra mental effort to concentrate and focus on being his uke. in doing so, I am cultivating my courage to be truthful all the time, most of the time.