Beginner’s mind;not!

Yesterday sensei was rather amused with our training and stopped us to explain a certain thing about the grades and how it should be seen.

He remarked that we are already senior practitioners already and should behave like one. He pointed out to us that we still practice like beginners and let the hand get caught before we move. He said that this kind of approach is fine when we are starting out as beginners and we need to learn as how to grasp properly, moving the hand, and other generic mechanics of the technique. In short the physical part of the movement.

That is all fine as beginners as we are still not skilled to counter techniques. But as an advance practitioners, we must train to move before our uke, because the threat of our uke resisting is real.

I took this away and understood that as an ‘advanced’ practitioner, we must learn discern. I habitually have this misconception of ‘beginner’s mind’, and let my hand be caught, allowing my uke to have a firm grasp before i move. It stems from this in build schema in my head, that my skills is more ‘proven’ if i can move my uke when he has a firm grip. its like ‘hey’ i can move you even with you holding me so tight, i can move you anytime!’ Hence i subconsciously disregard ‘moving’ technique. What we frequently assume, will become true one day.

After what my sensei told us last night. it dawned to me that my partners are advanced practitioners too. If i think like a novice nage, and they attack me like an advanced uke. wouldn’t the disparity be stupendously obvious? It’s like a big DUH! to me when i realised this last night.

They are ‘advanced’ uke, and rightfully attack like one, me as an ‘advanced’ nage will have an expectations or less of it in their ability to catch me and follow through. In such a level, the confidence displayed by the nage will put the nage one to two breaths ahead of the uke. which is something i held in theory but never have been very competent in practice.


About Who is Randy Lim

This blog is about the journey and experiences in my life as an Aikidoka. With close to 20 years in the arts, I'll make comments and judgements based on 2 principles, E&E. Experimentation and Experiential reflection. please enjoy, and comment freely.
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