Finding A New Path
Last night Sensei wanted us to realize that Aikido should be approached from different angles. Meaning we shouldn't try to force our idea of a technique on an attack, rather when we sense resistance the idea is to change your approach. So much of the night we worked on feeling the force of the attack. Then he went on about changing out responses to attacks and how it was like Neuroplasticity. Or something like that.
The start of the process is to recognize what is happening in the attack and NOT respond in kind but find a different path (like the brain making new response paths in the brain). Here he used the example of how people shake your hand when meeting you. You can learn a lot from the energy in the handshake about how you will need to interact with them. Will they be aggressive or overly sensitive, and stuff like that.
The thing is we are wired to fight force with force, it is the most obvious way to respond. If somebody pushes you we thing the most logical thing is to push back. He wanted us to realize that part of the essence of Aikdo is that like Neuroplasticity, it means changing ways of thinking and doing (my paraphrase).
Along those lines in Sensei's closing remarks, the gem he gave us was that the very notion of an attack should be dealt with by changing your perspective.(letting your brain find a new path), meaning if you accept an attack as an “attack” we are wired to respond in kind. But if you accept the attack as a gift. The more force it has, the more you are given to work with, and in a kinder world you lovingly redirect him to neutrality. Then went on to say this is a way to view social conflict away from the dojo.
I really like the notion, but of course I think there some Aikido-ists that accept the “gift” but then use their new found weakness and apply their own violent attack.