Everything has two sides. While I was very critical of Aikido lately, I wanted to make sure I also recognize and share the good things I learned while training Aikido. This is why in this Martial Arts Journey video I’ll be taking a look at the good things I’ve learned in Aikido.
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What Good Have I Learned in Aikido
It is said that there are two sides to everything. For the past year I’ve spent a lot of time criticizing Aikido and it’s lacks and rarely, did I speak about the good sides of it. Having practiced it for almost 14 years, surely I learned not only about it’s flaws, but also about many positive aspects that it offers, which I’ve left unsaid of. Thus, in this Martial Arts Journey video I’ll be sharing the Good Things I’ve Learned in Aikido.
Aikido often times is referred to as a more philosophical martial arts practice and that was also my experience of it. It’s founder Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei, was a deeply spiritual and religious person and he spent a lot of time teaching about how Aikido should be an art of Peace and how it should help a person grow as an individual. Being exposed to this philosophy all the time, definitely had an impact on me. The teaching which most probably had most impact is known as “Masagatsu Agatsu” or in other words: “True victory is victory over yourself”. I have found that many martial arts promote overcoming the ego, yet Aikido’s unique approach to promoting it through non-competition and having no form of tournaments, aside a single style called Shodokan Aikido, shaped me into appreciating that life is not all about winning.
In Aikido you always perform a role of either the defender, known as Nage or Tori, or the attacker – Uke. When I first started learning Aikido at 14 years old, I was still internally driven by competitiveness and in the beginning I could not comprehend – how come during the training I will have to be quote on quote “winning” against my attackers only half of the time, even if I will be better than them, and the other half of the time I will consciously have to allow myself to be beaten. While I was not happy about this principle to begin with, years later I learned how much it helped me grow as an individual. Through this way of training, I first of all learned that sometimes being defeated is an inseparable part of life which should be accepted, appreciated and that it should not be resisted against all the time. Being attached to victory all the time can be a great source of stress and to learn to sometimes allow ourselves to lose can actually be relieving and healthy.
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