Sunday, January 30, 2011

Power, Control, and Toys

Aikido is full of people who are either skinny and fast, or strong and big. For those of us who are small in weight and who dont have as much "Meat" on their bones it is difficult to sometimes make our larger oponentes go with the moves. That is why we have to make sure our moves are spot on -- the Larger people dont have to be forced then, if they want to keep their arm they will go with the moves. 

But the larger people -- with more meat on their bones -- have it easer sometimes. They know the moves and have the power to make the little people go whether the moves are correct or not. Thats called POWER

What we try to learn in Aikido is to CONTROL that power. If you cant control that power then you will break the toys you practice with. If you break your toys then you have no one to practice with and you will also have very angry comrades. 

If someone is large, or small for that matter, and is new to Aikido -- just learning the moves -- then it is understandable that they may not know how to control the power behind them. Once they start getting into higher belts then they will be expected to control more and more of that power. 

Though the opponent may come in very strong for an attack, said large or small person should still control their power. Yes, the opponent is coming in very fast, take them out with their momentum -- use their own power against them and try to preserve yours. This is what we try to learn in Aikido. Once the momentum is gained and the Toy under you is momentarily subdued, the proof of your control will result as the wholeness of your Toy. If you can not control your power and the toy under you breaks, no only will that toy be angry at you, but no one will want to be your toy anymore. 

A display of controlled power VS. a display of uncontrolled power are two completely different things. A controlled power in Aikido is quick, fluid, in its execution. For example, the Black belts are more or less not going to care if you get hurt or not, but they know how to judge the amount of pressure a toy can take before it breaks. A brown belt knows a fraction of that judgement, and below that the students are still learning how to control theirs. 

But a Blue and Green belt will/should know better then to break their toys right away. If it is a slip up and happens in the heat of the moment, then once is good enough. They are high enough belts to know whether or not to do that again. Orange and Yellow belts should know at least half of what the Green and Blue belts know. and the White and Red belts should know half of what the Orange and Yellow belts know. While a Red belt is learning how to control things still. 

In a display of uncontrolled power, a Green of Blue belt is likely to not realize how much they are uncontrolled and when confronted will most likely say something to counter the conformation. 

In Aikido, we do not want to break our Toys, for there are few Toys out there who actually LIKE ESTA Aikido and who will come back for more lesions. The higher belts should know this more then anyone. Plus, if a higher belt continues to show uncontrolled power, their Toys might just think that the higher belt is on a crazy power-trip and will start to not like them -- causing the UNIT of the class, the comradery, to dissolve. 

Unity in the class is a requirement. For there are only two oponents you must be worried about: 1) Black Belts, 2) Yourself. Everyone else, they dont matter. Their just TOYS

If that Unity is broken, then you are most likely to get broken. 

Knowing how much POWER you contain and how to CONTROL that power -- not breaking your TOYS -- will eventually cause you to gain a higher belt once you grade again.

I feel you will be surprised as to how well this control will work; specially when your a Dan grade. 


Sometimes, when you least expect it, this thing called Life captures you and holds you back from the things you want to do. Knowing full well that there are many times that you can do/could have done those things, you just get held back. Weather you're too busy to do something or you have all the time in the world to do something, Life finds a way to keep you from doing that thing. From mere forgetfulness to complete and solid "road blocks." 

My own life has had these "Road blocks" too. Though thankfully, Life has never caused me to forget and never return to Aikido. Being part of ESTA USA is one of the few things that I am fully proud of. Knowing that I am part of something larger then myself but at the same time, its slightly tiny and subtle. Always there but not "In your face" until things are presented to you that cause you too look at the bigger picture. 

My Bigger Picture is full of things that are my primary thoughts and focuses, but where those things dont fit like a puzzle-- with large gaps between them-- there are smaller thoughts and focuses. That is how everyone is; its how they live. But, never, ever the same things. There are fighters--in Aikido and otherwise--and collectors--gathering information that will help them in the end. 

I like to think that everyone who is fully dedicated to ESTA (in the USA and the UK) is a mixture of the two. Gathering information to help them out in life when dealt with situations that don't and never will pertain to Aikido (the physical portion). Though, when the Information doesn't help with some situations, you know the Physical aspects of Aikido to deal with the problem. When all else fails, use Nikkio-- it always gets the message across. 

I believe that someone or something had finally used Nikkio on my brain to make me realize that there was one thing that I had forgotten to take care of....Maybe it was Life itself, either way I'm glad that Life finally backed off enough to let me realize that I was indeed forgetting a very, very important roll that I was dealt.... Never going to happen again, I promise you that.