“In Aikido 1 + 1 = 1”
Paolo Corallini Sensei
“You should train as if your uke is an extension of yourself.”
Morihiro Saito Sensei
“Gather your partner. Simply move together.”
Sakeda Yoshinobu Sensei
“It’s never about the throw, it’s about connection.”
Mary Heiny Sensei
Each act, each memory, each like, each dislike creates our story. We use this story to define who we are. It shapes our interaction with others. The stronger we hold to the story the more we force it on others. In aikido when we force the throw we fail to listen to our partner and our response comes from our story and not from what is appropriate. In zen it is said, eat when you are hungry, rest when tired. This is how we break free from the story. In the tea ceremony each movement, each action, each thought is not part of the story, it is not from habit. You grasp the tea kettle and feel it. It is shaped and made to pour the tea. You pour the tea. The cup is filled, it needs to be shared, the cup is passed to another. Acceptance, reverence for the gift. It is made to be felt, it offers its self to you. You accept again, this time from the cup. There is no separation, everything, everyone is included. You vanish.
kokoro = “heart, mind, spirit”
Japanese word for person is ‘hito’ = to hold the spirit.
“The body made subtle, we call the mind. The mind made visible, we call the body.”
Mary Heiny Sensei talks of the heart melting as uke attacks, it gives a whole different perspective if we look at the heart as mind. I am thinking that O’Sensei had this definition in his thought as he kept referring to opening the heart. Open the mind, let the big mind, the mind of the universe enter into you. There is no merging with uke (attacker), there is only one, there has always been only one. We with our limited perception separate from the one, from unity.
O’Sensei said, ” All I have to do is keep standing this way.” Perhaps on the ‘bridge between heaven and earth’.
Jacob Atabet by Michael Murphy, “I think we can enter the place where matter is rising from mind.” “”What is there to fear? Life and death are simultaneous. 2,500,000 red cells are being born and consumed every second! We are living flames, burning at the edge of this incredible joy.”
Again to hold the perceived opposites at the same moment is to experience unity. kokoro = “heart, mind, spirit”
This is where my aikido is taking me. I find so much more than just a throw… Sort of another view of the saying that in Aikido 1+1=1
Jeff Black currently holds the rank of Shodan and trains regularly at Aikido of Reno. Having trained in the art, off and on, for the last forty years or so, Jeff is a wealth of insight about the art of Aikido. This will be the first of three weekly installments of his post.