Dojo Conflict Management

This is the current trending news for 2022…Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars…

We often feel like doing this to a specific individual in our life, work, or personal, this feeling can even bubble up on the mat, and there might be uke who is uncooperative in some of the waza and it simply frustrates us. We feel like doing something else other than Aikido to our fellow Aikidoka training partners.

chris-sabor-unsplash
Source: Chris Sabor-Unsplash

Managing Conflict on the Mat

There is no place on the mat for anything else other than Aikido techniques, since this is the discourse we are trying to learn. There is no place for a slap, kick, punch hip throw other than prescribed, and directed by the sensei. Any deviation or unexpected moves or attacks can result in injuries beyond a bruised ego. We cannot allow accidental techniques that leads to unpleasant incidents.

Such an incident happened recently during jyu-waza, and it was a 2 vs 1 scenario, I was urging both ukes to give space and let the nage complete the technique, it has been a while since we did multiple attacks. Unfortunately, things got a bit too intense and the nage lost his cool and got into a brief scuffle with one of the uke, who appears to be uncooperative. I stopped the class immediately.

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Source: Charl Folscher-Unsplash

Lost your temper, do not lose control

As strange as I might say it, it is okay to be frustrated, and angry with yourself on the mat. Harry sensei has scolded us many times, angry with our shoddy movement, or when we do not do as he does. I have been frustrated with my own sloppy footwork, sometimes against unwilling, and uncooperative uke. Never once, I decided to take it out on the uke, admittedly, I do entertain such thoughts. Yes, very much like Will Smith, I am work in progress.

So it is okay to be temperamental, don’t bottle it up, becoming angry is very human, and of course, you will put a bit of petrification on your training partner, but as long as you show no intent to maim or hurt, people will generally understand, and even help you work your frustration. Don’t make it personal, and people will be more than willing to help you on whatever unhappiness you harbor.

Losing Control-a no, no

Intoxicated people often admitted that they are not themselves when they are drunk, uncontrollable; hit someone, and commit criminal offenses. I can’t vouch for that as I’ve never been drunk. since no one comes to the dojo drunk (yet), no one should be given this excuse they lost control.

Training in the same dojo for years can build trust and friendship, one moment of anger and lost of control can destroy that. Worse is when you hurt someone when you lost control, regret and apology cannot undo the damage done.

It happened to my friend in Karate.

The exercise requires them to just punch and block. during the intensity of the training, this junior brown belt, somehow lost it, and snapped a kick at my friend’s knee, tore his ligament, and well, that makes it permanent, and no amount of ‘sorry sorry’ can unf**k the injury. So now that friend walks around with a torn ligament and that brown belt goes on with his life knowing he did that to one person. I do not want that on my conscience.

Safe Space

The dojo is a sacred space for experimentation, a place for people to feel free in expressing themselves in Aikido. Many of us, comes to the dojo to escape the stress of our daily lives, many of us works in high pressure, stressful jobs and dojo is a place for us to put that behind and do something therapeutic and enjoy the exercise.

Unfortunately some of us brings that stress and tension to the mat, and that is fine, it’s a place for us to work and release that tension. through a disciplined, respectful and progressive approach. It is not a place for us to do a free-for-all.

It’s just Aikido

At the end of the day, it is just Aikido. on the mat, there is no life and death about it. No one is really coming for our life. It’s a practice, a martial arts, and it helps us understands our limitations, improves the way we deal with difficult people, so there is no need to get triggered. On the same thread, if we are unable to reign our volcanic, volatile and unsettled mind on the mat, it goes to show that we have a lot to work on within us, improve ourselves and handle the very first difficult person we come across every, single, day, ourselves.

Andre Mouton, Pexel
Source: Andre Mouton, Pexel

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