Since the aikido dojo I attend has been closed since my state’s lockdown began, I’ve been limited to weapons practice, movement, and thinking about practice. Thought I’d throw out my reflections on some of the “core truths” I’ve learned in the last 12 years of training.
1. If it looks easy, it’s not.
2. If it looks hard, it is.
3. What you think is happening in technique is not what’s happening in technique.
4. You will not master anything in a week. You may never feel like you’ve mastered anything, even after 30 years.
5. Everything deepens. Wrist technique is not about the wrist. It’s about the elbow. But, it’s not really about the elbow, it’s about the shoulder. But it’s not truly about the shoulder, it’s about the opposite hip.
6. Ignore the point of contact. The opponent expects to fight there.
7. Change the line. Even a few degrees, moreso 45 or 90 degrees, weakens the opponent’s power.
8. There’s always going to be someone bigger and stronger. Technique, changing the line, ignoring the point of contact will overcome strength.
9. The best technique is no technique. But, you must learn and try to master technique in order to grasp the principles that make “no technique” effective.
10. Adapt. Do not get locked into making a particular attack or technique “work”. Be willing and able to let it go and move to something else.
11. Find what else can move. Your grabbed wrist is immobile, but your elbow, shoulder, hips, and legs are not trapped. Move them.