I Wanted To Know

When I first heard of aikido I wanted to know what it was, as in the question, "Okay, so show me." He did, and it went remarkably like this:
I had to make him show me just how it worked. Also with this he was remarkably reluctant. When I had repeated my wish over and over, he conceded and showed me one of the simpler techniques, nikyo, wherein my wrist was turned in such a way that I fell to the floor in sudden pain.
My wrist hurt as if it were broken, although it was unharmed, and surely my knees had been bruised from the sudden fall to the floor, but I was overcome by one thing only: the beauty of the technique. Krister had only turned his hand around mine, as simply as the butterfly, when sitting on a straw of grass, gently flaps its wings. That was all. And I fell to the floor as abruptly as if I were hit with a blacksmith's hammer.
It was delightful, in the midst of the pain. It was magical, incomprehensible although it looked so simple. This I wanted to learn.

I didn't write this, it's part of an essay titled Aikido is True by Stefan Stenudd, an instructor under the Aikikai in Europe. While I do not have the decades of experience, his essay rings true for me. I did not want to quote all of it, but his conclusion is interesting. Learning aikido is like rediscovering something that you already knew. The inherent logic, the truth of it, is what is captivating.

1 comment:

Shy Wolf said...

"...Learning aikido is like rediscovering something that you already knew..."
Exactly what I used to tell my students, "I'm just going to show you how to use what you already know."
It's the same with teaching my son to drive by telling him to drive one night. "I don't know how to drive," he said.
"Yes, you do- you've watched me do it all your life, now you apply what you've seen."
It truly is an aspect of "you don't know what you don't know".