Thursday’s training with Wai Mun was rather testy. Unfortunately, neither one of us possess a higher wisdom to overcome our struggle.
We engaged in shomen-uchi irimi-nage, and I happened to be Wai Mun’s uke. And like most Aikidokas (me, included), tend to focus on the end. Particularly for Wai Mun, there is a fixation on the end, the throw. So when the shomen comes, he blocks it and went almost for the throw, disregarding all the things in between. It’s like hell bent on getting from point A to point Z, and the rest of the 24 alphabets in between is irrelevant.
Obviously, it will not work for him. And I wasn’t giving him any charity fall. So we repeated this struggle for many times, until a point in time where I can sense that he wanted to do something else, other than irimi nage. But Sensei stopped, and ended the class. Harry sensei had this uncanny ability to sense trouble and control any possible bad blood, or trouble. But I can sense Wai Mun’s frustration seething.
He got his fair share of ‘revenge’ moments later where I partnered him for kokyu-ho. He held a death grip on my hand and refused to grant me movement. What where I did, he resisted. In a manner which he can probably justify, as an eye for an eye.
To think about it, I probably deserve as much for that lacking in charity in my part. Perhaps I had to reap in kokyu-ho what I sowed as a Wai Mun’s uke earlier on. The other argument is just as true. Wai Mun has a choice of not have to give it back to me as much as I had given him. His return in kind, risks perpetuating a feeling not worth perpetuating.
Well, now that the tide has turned and I am facing utmost non-cooperation from Wai Mun, what can I do? I could did what he did, start to do other things, other than kokyu-ho. Had I done that, it will lead him to do something else, other than kokyu-ho too. And I in turn response with something else. What we have at the end of it, is nothing remotely resembling Kokyu-ho, which beats the whole point of diligence and discipline in training.
Instead, I told him:”Wai Mun, I cannot do kokyu-ho.” To which he rebuke: “Why not?! Can!” and continued to squeeze my two wrists like his life depended on it. I told him again:”I cannot, because you are preventing me from doing kokyu-ho.” that somehow got him to relax and he dropped his shoulder, let out a breath and I managed to execute something resembling Kokyu-ho. which at the end of it, I said: “Thank you.”
The whole point of it was the ego. It was struggle of egos, mine and his. Surely, if I had continue, with brute force, plowed my way through Kokyu-ho, I probably would have been successful. that is not the point of it, the point is not winning, look further and beyond winning, beyond the larger picture of the ego’s desire. I let his ego ‘win’, because i know I cannot ‘win’, well at least not with skillful means. Hence, I admit ‘defeat’ and gave way for Wai Mun’s ego., only then can our friendship be preserved for more constructive and fruitful training.