“Irresistible aiki” by Patrick Parker

“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.”

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  1. Kata are “plans of attack”. Now, Eisenhower said that in war plans are pretty useless, but planning was indispensable. Patton put his emphasis on training, staff work and supply: when he applied the tool he forged to the objective he chose, it would work. He was also probably the strongest historian in the US Army. He was fighting in a theatre which had been contested for millenia. The ground hadn’t changed. Previous campaigns were his kata. Both knew that kata are illusions. They are what is apparent after the fact. Aikido, swordsmanship or generalship consist of the choices and adaptations that are made in the confusion of the moment. Initial stillness can be the unassailable strength of readiness and adaptability, or just vulnerable immobility. Jubal Early in the fall of 1864 brought his corps to the defenses of Washington DC. There were no defenders, but the defenses appeared impregnable so he withdrew. Grant continued to hammer on the defenses of Richmond and extend the lines until Lee could no longer match him and Richmond fell. Confidence? Stubbornness? There’s also the Japanese story of the tea master’s duel…

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