Aug
30

“The Psychology of Aiki” by Lawrence Novick, Ph.D.

“There are many things in life that we perceive, consciously or unconsciously, as a threat. This creates conflict, as it invokes the fight-or-flight response. In times of conflict, we naturally establish a negative bonding pattern with the person who initiates threatening behavior towards us; a bonding pattern between our vulnerability, which is the part of us that can be open and therefore hurt, and the other person’s “power,” as defined by their behavior. The important aspect of the process, at the psychological level, is that when we feel threatened, the natural thing for us to do is to identify ourselves with (or become) the part or parts of us that we learned to protect ourselves with when we were young, and then react accordingly to the present situation.”

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Comments

  1. …ok. But this explanation omits some basics of budo, as, for that matter, does the concept of “defense”. Japanese sword is essentially different from European. In foil you MUST parry before counterattacking. The attacker has “right of way” until then. In Japanese sword, parrying and counter-attacking is regarded as inconclusive (Musashi). “Timing of one”, or “ai ki” is central to good swordsmanship, if a difficult thing to actually achieve. O Sensei distinguished his aikido from that old meaning, but it will be difficult to actually do aikido without keeping the old meaning in mind.