Monday, June 14, 2010
Addendum to Inoue Kyoichi's Seminar
Kancho said this of training... this was mentioned during tenkan practice. One problem he sees is people doing tenkan but their minds is still with the uke. Thus they're moving into a new direction, but part of them is still stuck on uke, thus their movement becomes in balance, rigid or pulling. Shioda told him to first put your mind on uke during the grab, full attention, then tenkan and give full attention to the new direction. This is very similar to how we project our intention one way, then the other way when we do aiki taiso. Having does this directional projection, we still have connection with uke though and that's through the hands and center connection.
Kancho also said that in multiple uke situation, Aikido is just like life. You deal with one thing at a time and finish it before moving to the other. (multi taskers beware!). In the case of Aikido, you meet and throw an uke at a time (sometimes you just move past them to meet the other uke first, this can be construed as priorities). If you deal with one uke and half complete something and then rush to meet another uke, pretty soon you'll be buried in an avalanche of ukes. Similarly, in life we tend to do something halfway then take up another project, and then another, and pretty soon we're completely bogged down with half completed jobs. As I'm writing this down, I'm reminded of my own half completed projects rusting in the binary shelf of my computer hard drive.
Surely, you remember the zeal or energy that you had when you first took up a project. Enthusiasm abound and ideas flowing. Suddenly after awhile those things fade away. Maybe it takes a year, maybe even a week, but there will be times when you lose total interest in that project. I've seen it in many people who take up multiple activities like radio car building/racing, then helicopters, or maybe paintball and go kart next, swimming, then cycling or photography. Some do it because it was a fad and their friends did it so they wanted to join this group activity. Some do it because there was this famous or popular teacher teaching, so they joined because the teacher really appealed to them and they wanted to enjoy that activity like that teacher too. After awhile, when the friends have gone on to other things, or the teacher has left, you feel a little bit lost and empty. That activity you thought was so fun has now become a chore. There is where the decision comes in. Your soul searching starts here.
Not everything you do is meant to be completed. I realise that. We're not robots. In life, there will be mistakes and failures. But in Budo, where mistakes and failures can cost you your life or someone else's, we must be mindful of the type of mistakes and failures we allow to happen. Sometimes, there are things that you have to complete irrespective of whether you like it or not. Your soul searching is not so much to see if there's an affinity to a particular activity or not. Any kid worth his salt knows what he likes and dislikes. Soul searching means whether you can push past that boredom, dislike and confusion, and finish what you've started.
Remember, if you believe everyone and anything can be a teacher, then we must listen and understand what they are saying and the things they are not saying. A true teacher will help you cultivate that skill, so that it can be applied to everything else that you do. That's why its important to have a teacher who can teach you to learn, not just having many teachers with many different skills. This teacher will be your True North so to speak, whereas the other teachers gives you the other points in a compass.