There are two teachers who’ve had the most influence on my Aikido. One teacher tends to be technical and dynamic. The other is more esoteric and light. Both are incredibly effective. For years, I’ve tried forcing myself to pick one style. I could never do it. Just the other night, I asked myself the right question. Why pick? Why beat myself up over picking sides? Nobody, including my teachers, were forcing me to pick. Just me.
Seeing it that way allowed me to fully embrace both styles, knowing that I could utilize whichever one suited me best at the moment. It was like realizing I had a whole buffet of Aikido available at my disposal and I had been forcing myself to choose between the kung pao chicken and pasta primavera when I could have just grabbed both (sorry for the buffet reference, I live in Reno).
Why do we humans categorize ourselves so much? Up and down can both be good. Same with left and right. Opposites are only so because we make them that way. Fast and slow are unified. Without one, the other wouldn’t exist. We humans love to create boundaries, but they often times end up fencing us in (I highly recommend reading Ken Wilbur’s book, No Boundary for more on this).
People like predictability. It starts with family and friends. We don’t like them to change, right? This concept was institutionalized, fueling the Industrial Age and, thereby, public schooling (see the video below for a bit more about that from one of the smartest people of our time). Marketers like having everyone buy the same crap. With all of this outside pressure, we become trained to the point where we heard ourselves. Like little furry farm animals. It’s just kind of the way people work. Realize it. Learn from it. To see the farm is to escape it.
Thanks to Travelin’ Librarian for the image!