Just relax. A message given to us by our Sansei every time we enter the Dojo. Take a deep breath, don’t think too much, and just relax. One of the most important acts I learned after a meer five lessons of aikido was that in order to win, you need not fight. This martial art is not about attacking or defeating your opponent, rather defending yourself. With this said, when someone comes and grabs your arm do not fight head on. With every move we learned we ended up side by side with our attacker, using their force against them.
Like yoga, aikido is not only the physical aspects: the ideology and dedication to understand the concept of each takes immense dedication. From the time I have spent during each, no matter how short the time, I have learned it is all about channeling mind and body, and letting the two become one. In aikido I had I very hard time doing the frontwards roll, and I know the reasoning behind this difficulty was because my mind was telling me I couldn’t do it, or I would hurt myself trying. I am going to keep practicing until I get it, but I learned in order to succeed you need to master form and mind.
Overall, I have realized aikido is another example of mastering mind and body as one, and a perfect example of focusing on the process more than the outcome.
If you would like to know more about this mindset read about the Tea Ceremony in one of my previous blogs.