“Body Ego and Brain Ego,” by Ralph Pettman

“In mental terms aikido means “letting go”, not relying on physical strength, not depending on the intellectual part of the brain to think of solutions to the problems we face. These are not little things to let go. The thinking part of the brain always wants to tell us that the intellect matters most. It will use that sense of the body that uses out muscles to stay in control.”

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  1. bruce baker says:

    You are falling down a snow covered mountain, and all you can do is to relax as you try to bend and fall without hitting anything hard and know you are probably gonna die, but somehow… someway .. in your relaxed acceptance of falling and relaxing .. you find yourself alive at the bottom of the mountain .. UNHURT!

    All the memories of falling are vivid pictures, and your detachment from caring has be translated to an awareness you never had before.

    That is all this article is saying, you have let go of the stiff body, stiff mind, and reached another level of thought and action you have not had before. NOT PHYSICAL STRENGTH. NOT Intellectual analyzing … just a state of mind of awareness and relaxing while being able to maintain some control despite the circumstances.

    Yeah, you will know it when it happens …

    As for Aikido practice …. the MENTAL commands you put into place will not be forgotten, but your actions will be instantaneous as another part of your mind takes over while the waking you is a partner whose slower thoughts are amazed that another part of you is in control.

    This too, will be an awakening of the real you, and the many levels of thought occurring in your brain you were unaware of and not in control of, until this moment of awareness occurs.

  2. …the aikido techniques are VERY subtle, following skeleto-muscular paths of weakness. when we, eventually, make them both reasonably good and reasonably automatic, that’s where the mind starts getting bent…

  3. Bruce reminded me that – although this is no reason to drink and drive – the drunk driver in a car accident has a higher chance than sober passengers or a sober driver of the other car to survive. This is because a highly inebriated driver’s body tends to stay loose in a crash, while a sober person’s body will stiffen up during the moment of anticipation. An inebriated driver’s or passenger’s body, because his or her mind is in a degree of stupor, will flow more “naturally” with the movements of physics. Many think it unfair that a drunk driver is often the only person to survive a crash, considering that most of the time his or her poor judgement is what caused it in the first place.


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