No straight lines

No straight lines

Nothing on Earth travels in a straight line, everything has a curvature, even a seemingly ‘straight’ line. Take any given ‘straight’ line, magnify it 500x, and you’ll see features and landscape that ebb and flow like any other terrain, magnify it yet another 500x, your straight lines will vanish into microscopic images.

Point in case, my eldest son asked me a very, very good question.

Son: “Pa”

Me: “Yes?”

Son: “The Earth is round right?”

Me: “Yes, of course.”

Son: Why don’t the people staying at the lower parts of the earth feels as if they are upside down?” (While I’m sure there is a perfectly sound,  scientific explanation for that, but it struck me as a pretty darn good question!)

Life is always delusional, and it will always be a horizon. we can see the horizon as a straight line, but we all know by now, beyond that ‘straight’ line, is the curve of the Earth.

When you think Aikido, it is precisely that, a straight curve line. It is grounded in a spherical nature because that is ultimately, how thing, in nature is, a curve, a circle. Sometimes, the circle is small,very, very small, sometimes it is very big, as in 365 days orbit-ally big. Some times even larger, many lifetimes larger.

So we need to see things in a bigger light. Aikido, to many, appears on the surface as a straight line, we look at the technicalities of it, the effectiveness, and the this-versus-that argument, well that is all straight line talk. Aikido is a curve ball no one can see coming, and yet it has no secrets, all you need to do is endure the travel of the curve, and the teachings will always reveal itself, just round the curve.

first posted: Jan 24, 2015 1:54 AM

Love as the ultimate epiphany

Love as the ultimate epiphany

It is 1.25am, right now, and for a very sleep deprived me, I woke up with a feeling of profound insight. It took me a while to understand what that is and why I felt so strongly about it.

I have to record this.

When I was young, I took on this Buddhist learning of saying ‘thank you’ for everything that comes my way, more specifically, someone, I cannot remember who, said that we should say thank you everytime people tries to hurt us. So I took this concept to school, and tried it out, as naively as a kid would. So during school assembly, I said this to a classmate and he smacked my hand to ‘test’ me, I of course, true to the ‘teachings’ said, ‘thank you’. What happened? He smacked me again! ‘Thank you.” Smack! “Thank you.” Smack!

‘Thank you’ is a message, and the message is love.

Eventually, I got irritated and I think the smack won that day. It hadn’t dawned to me that had I continue, found the depth in me to continue, I can, say thank you, many more times than my friend could continue with his smack. In short, he will get physically tired. Of course, I’d be hurt, physically to a certain degree, but the spirit of saying thank you…will endure! Thank you!

Point is, ‘Thank you’ is a message, and the message is love. For as long as I can remember, I’ve without fail Whatsapp my wife ‘I love you.’ we always end our call with ‘love you.’ As much as we can remember, sans the times where we are using the phone to hurl quarrels as one another. Well, there are times we can only understood love that much.

Point is, how much can you say ‘I hate you’ as compared to “I love you?’ Eventually, you’d want the hate to end, hate will have to end one way or another. It is commonly known that hate will ‘eat’ into you. I don’t know how that can happened, but how much do you have in you to feed hate? I’ve hated in my life, and it’d always ends, good way or bad. and you’ll never get better with hate.

I cannot imagine where I’d be as a human being if I’d say ‘I hate you’ to a person, everyday. Words being words, has a profound effect on people, the emotions associated with hate is very very different from the emotions linked to love.

I woke up thinking of why O sensei came up with Aikido. During his times, he has seen his fair share of conflict, World War 2 was a terrible event he has to live through. There is a massive sense of tragedy, sadness, destruction, death and many more other bad things beyond words. I think he saw through all that and see a immense sense of love under all that. Love helped people endured hardship and suffering, not hate. Love heals the hate that comes from the bitterness of defeat. Humble pie can only taste sweet in the hands of love. I think, after seeing all those suffering around him, he can see that only love is universal, after all that has fallen off, dead and gone, really, as Colin Raye sings it, Love Remains.

Published on: Jan 20, 2015 @ 01:52

Aikido is action

Aikido is action

 

This is why Aikido is so difficult to learn. Because this ‘reaction’ that we can relate in Aikido is not that of physics, but that of metaphysic, the not-so-visible movement in life.

Aikido is dependent on action. Period.

We can all talk about ki until we run out of it, but Aikido works simply because there is action, If in the case of ‘NATO’- No Action, Talk Only, Aikido will not work.

But it is more complex than that. Because we know that Aikido is dependent on action, we attempt to provoke the other person into action, and then justify the use of our Aikido against the action/aggression that we’ve provoked. The action was not started by the other person’s action, because the other person is not not the aggressor, you are the aggressor.

As mentioned, Aikido is dependent on action, if that aggression arises in your sub-conscious, into your conscious, and from there you scheme and plot mind games to create an outburst of anger from the other person, then you might not have an equal or opposite reaction. Simply because, you caused the action, and the other person is simply giving you an ‘equal and opposite reaction’, and simply because you cannot really, accurately gauge your own action, you might not be able to handle an ‘equal and opposite reaction’ coming your way.

So Aikido is dependent on action, generally not that of yours. That doesn’t mean that Aikido is latent, as it is not. It is a very sensitive art, you have to make sure the action is pure, and the reaction is purer. If you act first with impunity, then the spirit of Aikido is lost. If you act too late, then the spirit of Aikido is lost too, and perhaps your life as well.

Hence, it is an equal and opposite reaction.

To be able to respond to an action, with an equal and opposite reaction, one must not only react, but react with the clarity of a human being. Anyone can kill, maim and injure, it takes a highly conscious human being to be able to hold back, and protect, even in the most devastating moments. In all moments of death and destruction, we must strive to give an equal and opposite reaction, and not to add to the damage.

  • The opposite reaction to war, is peace.
  • The opposite reaction to fighting, is non-violence.
  • The opposite reaction to hurt, is love
  • The opposite reaction to pride and jealousy, is humility and acceptance.

So, reaction is not reaction in the purest, animal sense. We are human as animal, and we are endowed with a conscious choice, so if you are trained, and trained well, you will react, to an action, with not too much, nor too little, but with suffice equal and opposite reaction.

So please, react, and react well.

Published on: Feb 23, 2014 @ 22:30

Shikko and Ukemi

I was sharing this with Gabriel and Zarine one evening, about the attire we wear. I realised that my foundation years in Aikido, I did a lot of suwari waza, or knee walk.

Knowing how to fall properly is all about protecting ourselves from greater harm.

Extensive practice in knee walks, can be a boon or bane for Aikdiokas. I know some Aikido Shihans who have their knees destroyed by suwari waza. Personally for me, during my peaks, i can knee walk until there are holes on the pants where the knees comes into contact with the mat. Yes, blisters are also quite common.

It certainly helps in the stability department. practice on the suwari waza will strengthens the legs and hips, all vital structures for stability in movement or otherwise.

Another very important practice is ukemi. Well what are the chances of us using irimi nage in real life? or applying a nikkyo lock? But when is comes to falling, the chances are plenty.

Knowing how to fall properly is all about protecting ourselves from greater harm. When I was a motorcyclist, it had saved me from being seriously injured in a accident. Even in reality, falls are never picture perfect like in Aikido, but knowing how to and being experienced in rolling helps us prepare for the unexpected.

Published on: Feb 27, 2011