Irresistible Aiki


“Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Because it is non-resistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. Aikido is invincible because it contends with nothing.”

The above quote from Ueshiba, like a lot of what he said, sounds like a lot of mystical woo-woo psychobabble nonsense. But I think a lot of what he was probably talking about is natural and rational – it’s just that he spoke in a strange manner.

A while back I talked about SWOT. Strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat only exist within the context of an objective. If tori does not have the objective of exerting his will upon uke, if tori does not want to execute his plans upon uke, then tori has no weakness relative to uke and uke presents no threat to tori. Tori has become irresistible because he has no plan of attack. You cannot resist something that is not occurring.

But you have to have at least minimal objectives – you know that tori must remain alive and intact. That counts as an objective. In another recent article I talked about SMART goals and I mentioned that if you define your goals properly then you gain a lot of slack in how you execute your techniques. Specific goals (like “I will now do shihonage to make him fall just like this”) get tori into trouble. Broad, general goals (like “avoid, evade, do not engage, roll the ball, brushoff, disengage”), also called strategies, keep tori viable.

Tori starts to get into trouble when he begins planning tactics more than about one moderate, conservative walking step in advance.

Everything that happens more than about one step in the future has to be handled strategically – not tactically or technically.

Ueshiba also said, “Free of weakness, ignore the sharp attacks of your enemies: Step in and act!”


Article originally published at Mokuren Dojo blog


Categories: Adventure