My sensei has said many times, ‘you can move fast, but there are no short cuts.’

Sometimes when we execute a technique, we will go from receiving our Uke, to throwing/ pinning them. what happens in the middle is a blur or furry of actions that we sometimes conveniently not remember, as the ‘cool’ part is the ending the dramatic throw or pin.

Sometimes, fear and apprehension also makes us take a ‘fast forward’ in our actions. as we wanna ‘beat’ our opponents to the ending, not conscious that it takes both of us to get there, at the same time. This is Aikido, not a race to the finish.

I shared this with Vincent one afternoon and he agreed that it is better to do it right once, going through the entire process consciously and conscientiously. Even it it ends up wrong, we can backtrack effectively to track and trace the source of the error. Had we taken a short cut from point A skipping point B, straight to point G, then when things go wrong, and we back track, we might not be able to find the source of the error, or the critical point to our success, which might be point D, or point F. we will not know because we’ve skipped them, taken a short cut. and then again we loop back and ineffective feedback, by then the essence of the critical success factor is lost in the fray.

It takes a lot of conscious effort to not take short cuts. and my sensei constantly barks at us for not taking time to make a complete turn, or take a linear path instead of a circular one. We try to beat time by making a quick movement, but we sacrifice timing in the exchange, and agitate the entire process.

The agitation is two-fold, we gets agitated when we are faced with an attacker, who is in the mood of agitation, and angst. these rub off us and we reflect their agitation. They wanna get over their role as attacker quickly, they wanna take a shortcut, from an attack to a fall. we become their accomplice by becoming reflecting their agitation, letting them take their shortcut. So effectively, we shortcut their shortcut, and we end up with an even shorter cut! the whole essence of harmony in Aikido is lost in this casual franchised movement.

So a lot lies in the hands of the nage to remain present and calm, face the attack openly and bring the attacker through the full course of the action, dissipating their angst and agitation through an effective circular motion, and let the outcome end in a favourable and amicable manner. Not all fights end up fighting.



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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