When it is enough

You are using too much power. You lost the contact. Enough. No more.

I guess you can hear that many times when you are in an Aikido training, especially in a beginner class (well… I know most of us are beginners, shodan is a new beginner level, is that correct?).

In one training, when doing Ikkyo technique, I applied an atemi to my partner and was pointed out that I was too much. No, I don’t mean that I punched to her face too strong. It could be a combination of my movement, the distance between me and her, the mental sharpness. However, it leads me to think again the relation between uke and tori, in Aikido particularly, and between people, in general life.

OK, Aikido first.

It depends on how both uke and tori react to each other.

  • If tori applies atemi too little, or the movement doesn’t have any sharpness, the atemi will not have any effect on the uke. And if uke moves self, it is actually destroying the practice. Too nice! Aikido is still a martial art, remember that.
  • But if the atemi is too much, there is nothing to prevent the uke release the hand contact and run away. The connection between tori and uke disappears.
  • There is another case that the atemi is quite good, but the uke doesn’t respond. The uke assumes that this is training only, he will not hurt, so he keeps standing there. Well… in this case, I guess the connection already doesn’t exist anymore, even he still grasp your arm.

So, what is the lesson? Please, to be honest with each other. Focus and read your partner. You don’t need to over-react, but don’t be lazy either. Either as an uke or as a tori.

Many times, I see people in training don’t focus much. They look at other people, they move like a Russian tumbler even they can do much better. When doing that, they might not recognize that they are wasting their time, their partners time and effort. By that way, they are not respecting their partners, then what is the purpose of the training?

Next thing for learning: how to create sharpness in your movement? With that sharpness, combining your arms, your eyes contact and the whole body, you can give your partner more attention. I have been learning that knife sharpness from my teachers, but not successful enough (ahhh, what is enough? 🙂 )

Being a better father?

This lesson especially makes me think about the ways I am talking with my six years old daughter. In many instances, I feel being crazy about her activities, but shouting at her doesn’t help much. I don’t like that way either. I admitted that I have been shouting at her several times, but anytime after that, I immediately felt sorry for me, that I was over-react. I need to follow my daughter to get her feeling, and decide quickly what to do next depends on her response. And how about the next times? Children are developing, they learn quickly, but they are also interested in many things which make them forget your pieces of advice fast. With my daughter, I need to repeat one thing many times. Might be I need to pay more attention to her mood, so I can tell her in a more effectively 🙂

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