What happens to a mind trained in a non-competitive endeavour over a period of time?
Recently i tried a class of Jiujitsu, for experiential learning. I left the class with a very profound insight as to why Aikido is so different from the rest of the marital arts.
Why is Aikido so difficult to learn as compared to other martial arts? I’m not assuming that other arts are ‘easier’, is just that the ideals of an Aikido doctrine is very difficult for an individual to aspire to and the art really varies from people to people.
The young Jiujitsu assistant instructor introduces their style of Jiujitsu as ‘sports’ and ‘self-defense’. I shalln’t go into the details of the training proper, rather share what i personally felt and experienced, in an abstract manner.
We ended the class with a ‘sparring’ session,where the instructor was pitted against the students, it was my first lesson and the assistant instructor picked me to be his first sparring partner. It was a grappling oriented sparring session and thanks to my little MMA training i could effectively held him off.
He tried a couple of times to execute an armbar so as to ‘win’ the match. Somehow I was able to resist him and we struggled for a protracted period of time on the floor. He tried his best to position himself for a pin or armbar, but everytime i managed to evade his trap. In the melee, he somehow exposed the back of his head to me and i almost wanted to wrap my left arm over it and execute a reverse head choke lock. It was my best chance to end it, but i let it pass, and allowed him to ‘win’ with a pin, of 10 counts.
What left me thinking a lot was a couple of things. It was somewhat a competition, there is an aim to win, well at least for my combatant. I entered the fray with zero expectations. he grappled, pulled , hustled, and all i did was proposed a resisted response. for me i did not go on the offensive, partly because i was not skilled in offensive ground work. but mainly because i possess no offensive mindset. Guilty as charged, i do not have the killer instinct.
There was a definitive outcome from the sparring, win/lose. i was training at another level of outcome, beyond the win/lose. i let myself ‘lose’ so that he can live with his ‘win’. can you imagine the embarrassment it would have caused if i had pinned him? It was my first lesson and i am considered a novice. if he is defeated, he will have to deal with the level of respect or the lack of it form his students. he has a lot more social baggage to lose, when he lose. if i lose, well i’m just a novice, and i am expected to lose.
If i win, he will have a lot to learn from that too. on the other hand he might take the defeat too hard and personal that he becomes negative because of it. will i want to make a friend or an enemy? Afterall, what will a win prove for me? nothing, I train above and beyond winning and losing.