“Help Each Other!,” by David Shevitz

“At nearly every camp or seminar I have attended, Sensei says these words to us just before calling us to practice a given technique. I’ve heard the words before, but never really stopped to consider if my interpretation of them was correct. After all, I’m supposed to be studying a martial art. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to define helping my partner as attacking with as much focus and intent as possible, to ensure that they really are doing the technique and not just going through the motions. To put it another way: it was always my impression that the best way to help my partner was to attack as realistically as possible.”

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  1. …if i recall Nadeau sensei once said something to the effect that “aiki” could be thought of as “appropriate action”. so, maybe helping should be taken in that context. punching out a beginner would obviously be inappropriate. not punching out a senior student who messes up in a randori might be equally inappropriate…

  2. How few will understand this article. How many need to grasp what is being said here before they can begin to start progressing. How few will listen. How few will want to hear. Ego, thick skulls and primate instincts will keep getting in the way.

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