“Concatenation,” by Nev Sagiba

The word Concatenation means chain of events.

It comes from the Latin word for “chain.”

It points to a sequence, series or succession and may refer to anything from elements of mathematics, geological soil profiles, chemical chain structure, actions and almost anything else.

For the purpose of this discourse it will be used to define a chain of events.

When thinking is lucid, by that I mean clear as opposed to cluttered by opinions, direct perception becomes enabled and the obvious then stands out.

Good solid basic principles stand out to the clear mind. The sort of things everyone says “I knew that!,” but only after it’s been pointed out. And if you did already know some points, it’s good to be reminded anyhow.

A chain of clear thinkers collaborating on a co-creative endeavour can bring about the deemed to be impossible, to an all-gain conclusion. This is what so called “enlightenment” is about. The outcomes of harmony. What you can bring about because of clarity. Enlightenment is not sterile and self serving, but all inclusive.

A chain of malintentioned ones invariably make all lose scenarios as they squander time and resources in conflict, trying to be right when they are in fact off the rails. They make all-lose scenarios because their minds are in darkness. They imagine doors and openings where none exist. Their sense of importance and entitlement denotes their state of mind and lack of sight. The “endarkenment” of the self-serving, if you will.

No person can really be an island and those who succeed in attaining such a state gain only oblivion. We are all part of a symbiotic, interdependent web of life without beginning or end.

I recently stumbled upon the last few minutes of a TV interview of a gentleman named Bill Griggs.

I have no idea who Bill Griggs is, but notwithstanding, Mr. Griggs, thank you for putting it so succinctly.

“I know the reality is that only person whose driving behaviour I can really influence is myself. We are all responsible for ourselves… When you drive it’s up to you. You have the responsibility. You are the one whose going to have to make the decisions when you are out there behind the wheel.”

He refers to a quote by Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in your mind at the same time.”

Interviewer asked for an example.

“When a situation is hopeless, despite the situation being hopeless we should still have hope. And act on that hope..”

Interviewer suggested, “Contradictory.”

“It is, but if you limit yourself, if you keep your mind too narrow, you’ve set that it’s hopeless then you won’t strive, you won’t try. And if you strive and if you try, just occasionally, you find your doubt was wrong, and maybe things were not hopeless, maybe you’ll succeed in something that you didn’t think you could achieve and the rewards for that are enormous.”

The Scott Fitzgerald quote can cut both ways. Where there are good or neutral intentions conflict can only be a source of creative energy, but when petulance or vindictiveness is held in a confused mind then these opposites can be used to wreak havoc and escalate conflicts. On this basis, not all “greatness” is necessarily goodness.

Moving on. A clear mind, lucid perception can notice a chain of possibilities not available to an unclear mind. An immediate example is the field of Internet Technologies which mimic everything else in nature anyhow. (Remember the first time you looked for a mere link on a badly built site?)

In Budo, such clarity makes the difference between life and death, success or failure, victory or defeat.

Identifying points of reference.

Field operations in war are based on logistics and economy. Logistics and economy plus skill in the topology of hopology will define the outcome. Position being everything. Especially the high ground.

In interpersonal combat, nothing changes.

The Minamoto brothers were battlefield strategicians long before they began to address interpersonal aikijutsu. Aikijutsu is a natural outgrowth of the identical principles. If you can’t or won’t see this, you have not begun.

The most salient example is in Aikido techniques which are a series of strikes flowing along the points of least resistance to make a paramount action of natural movement or efficient physics.

So also with good atemi based art or wrestling that flows on to a conclusion. (Which attributes are all inclusive to Aikido.)

Why so?

When you move mass efficiently, and therefore economically, along the shortest paths, you save fuel. There’s your economical logistics. As for topology, positioning or placement, that is critical. The spatial properties of mass define everything in the universe. In battle, attaining best positioning comes from clarity of mind and clear sightedness, yet will engender increased delusion in the unclear thinker, even if he thinks he may be winning as a result of overwhelming force.

The ultimate science, knowingness, is best tested in battle. That’s where theories and opinions can be put to rest, usually along with their proponents.

The principles of Aikijutsu derive from mismatched worst case scenario necessity, such as extracted from the practice of multiple attack survival, the ultimate in the art of hard war being disproportionate attacking power countered with extremely efficient asymmetric tactics. Hence the In-Yo-Ho naturally evolving into Aikido and revealing the futility of conflict as a means to sustainable achievement.

The human biology, of course, can not be separate from principles that rule the entire universe and all in it.

Discovering these is a Way of awakening the mind to see everything else more clearly. Indeed, it may assist in helping you to survive a violent external encounter, but that is the lesser part.

The greater part is in freeing the mind from the shackles of delusion, in clarifying the ability to notice things as they truly are. Or at least to come a little bit closer to this sought after state of being.

This then makes the individual practitioner a navigator. A navigator fears not the ocean, nor fights it, but understanding the chain of events and potentials extant in that environment, can then utilize this understanding to chart a harmonious course, without prevarication, obfuscation, excuses, blame or any other soul vice. Rather with honesty, clarity, noticing and getting one’s own boat in order, can then sail the world, despite the weather and currents of change and circumstances, using the offered gifts of energy freely.

It is a simple matter of looking and noticing what it is that you are seeing and refining through practice. To identify energy as a usable resource instead of interpreting it as an attack only. Regular Budo training enables this faculty to come alive. You discover that skill in fighting is a mere steppingstone to something far greater, something vast and infinite and life giving.

The world becomes home and so does the entire universe. One filled with wonder and endless possibility all made possible by linked chains of events. From little ones to great ones and all in-between, most tending to repeat and become cycles of possibility and creation.

In developing a working understanding of concatenations, we learn to contribute to harmony by being careful what we set into motion, knowing that it will return multiplied.

Daily life becomes simpler and to the point. You begin to see through the bs and confusion. Instead of getting entangled in lots of clutter and conceptual additions, you can see the simple steps required to achieve a result and quietly do it and get on with life.

All Budo training, Judo Aikido, Karate-do/Boxing of any kind, Kendo, Wrestling/Newaza/Grappling arts, Jujutsu, Bajutsu, Kyudo and all the others, whether from the East or West, are premised on the understanding of concatenations in practical application, the conjoining of links or stopping points, joining the dots, whereby particles appear to become wave motion, as flow-on becomes a strategic chain of events. In this manner it reflects the movements of nature and the universe, finding a peaceful centre in the midst of extremes of immense turbulence, power accommodated into the path of least resistance.

On this Way of skill and infinite possibilities without end, certain basic predispositions become the foundations of practice. After that almost anything becomes possible one step at a time.

Nev Sagiba


  1. I am very impressed that you actually cogently pulled off the phrase “topology of hopology”.

    Thank you for this

    • Seriously though, especially in combat position is everything and understanding the relationship between opponents critical to outcomes.

  2. Syntactic didactic, as opposed to the morphology of tautology.. but I jest. To be honest it was serendipity. Thanks for your sagacity and appreciation Justin. BTW this article is a repeat from June 2010.

  3. I know this is not a question about this article. However: What would be an application of Aikido in economics?

    • Ksenia,

      Thank you for your great question!
      This is a question indeed.
      And possibly an article, a or book or a step-up university degree for future generations.
      The economics of the future will indeed be Aikido based.
      Otherwise we as a species will become extinct by our own hands.
      Allow me to posit my view beginning with the economy of nature itself because that is the foundation of all economy.
      The universe has been expanding creatively for about 15 billion years.
      This is a process of creation, expansion and brightness.
      It does not seem to “run out of stuff.”
      We can choose to channel this immense power.
      Life generally reflects it in the myriad creative possibilities and species whether mineral, vegetable, animal or other.
      Abundance is self-evidently the nature of the universe.
      On the other side of the coin there are pockets of darkness.
      Here predation and destruction occurs.
      Either way there can be no escape from symbiosis of mutual dependency, exchange of energy and the need to feed.
      All our matter on Earth originated in the Sun and to the Sun it is returning.
      We have limited time to, “get it right,” about 6 billion years or so, (that should be plenty.)
      This is the original economy for us on Earth.
      That’s a simple scientific fact even Jesus would not dispute.
      Where mutual exchange exists, mutual gain all win scenarios prevail.
      Yes, there may be trade-offs, there may be some measure of risk and there may be some measure of viable discomfort in the form of work, but generally it is an all gain/all win environment.
      Where predatorialism, or predatorial economies exist, (be these natural or man made) victims are the required order of the day and these form chains of immense suffering.
      Some living creature has to die to feed the predator who in turn becomes predated upon by a bigger ones and so on.
      Remember however that when the tenuous balance is broken everything then becomes extinct.
      In a predatorial environment everything and everyone hurts, and living in fear mitigates creativity for those too busy watching their backs.
      Look at the history of empires.
      Just like cancer, when they killed their host they became extinct.
      That is the nature of both cancer and empire, empire being equivalent as they operate exclusively rather than inclusively, which is the Way of the Universe.
      The laws of the Universe are not only immutable and inviolable but also magnanimous.
      If an individual, race, nation or species chooses a self-destruct trajectory, It lets them do so (Self judgement, if you will.)
      One day in the distant future, when we as a species, if we are still here, become intelligent beyond the current self-proclaimed hubris that likes to pretend that it is already so, we may open our eyes to our vast potentials above and beyond that of predatorial lizards who stand upright and own a few gadgets.
      Then we may notice that the possibilities before us are considerably vaster that we, in our current poverty conscious brainwashed state like to imagine.
      In the Universe and in Nature there are provisions for creation, destruction and maintenance of equilibrium extant in this Existence of endless and unending abundance.
      To date, man made economies have limped statically on the premise that a manufactured lack that does not in fact exist, can be used as a ploy for a few to predate upon and exploit the many of their own kind, utilising the tool of fear, whilst offering solutions that do not work, to problems that do not in fact exist, in order to bind the follower to their middlemen’s vampiric predations, exploitations and manipulations.
      This had posed a blight and a cancer upon the spirit of humanity.
      It has placed us in a mental and psychic jail.
      A stonewall of immense proportions.
      Until the day comes when all superstitious thinking is entirely eradicated in favour of individual awakening, there can be no genuine or meaningful forward progress for humanity who will continue to allow themselves to be deluded with ideas, concepts and superstitious beliefs that lead repeatedly to war.
      When or if we awaken, we will begin to see the links we were previously blinded to and the true freedom in the vast ocean of abundance we daily swim in.
      But people internally at war with themselves, whose main driving force is fear, will express this in war, violence and aggression towards others.
      And the power of bewildered doubt will allow them to hand their power over to the arrogant and mentally diseased.
      War is a tool of piracy and theft used by those riddled with poverty consciousness, who whilst finding themselves in a position to serve life instead of decimating it, in their stupor, choose otherwise.
      They steal because they are too lazy and mentally and spiritually crippled to choose to create.
      Don’t believe it when someone tells you that your soldiers are “protecting your country” by conducting an invasion of someone else’s home and murdering people who are demonized and labelled through the misuse of linguistics for simply choosing to do as you or I or anyone would do in defending their homeland.
      That we have the science to single out perpetrators without decimating innocent populations points to ulterior criminal agendas.
      Simply by asking, the answer to sharing wealth and resources will usually be a hearty yes.
      But that is not the way a bully knows because he fears the answer may be “no” or “share.”
      Apparently we have not learned anything from the history of empires.
      Economies based on murder and theft are doomed to ultimately fail because in the end they kill the goose that lays the golden egg, then implode on themselves.
      The definition of madness is to repeat the same errors hoping for a different outcome.
      To the point: The application of Aikido in economics is to find, make, research and implement every way possible to achieve an all gain/all win scenario where no victims are made and no theft is indulged in.
      And where no suffering is manufactured.
      This may sound trite, naive and idealistic.
      To implement it will not be easy at first (even though we as a species are running out of options) because habituated patterns will be difficult to break.
      After all, to master Aikido as we know it is not an overnight thing either.
      As for economies, we can if we collectively choose continue to mimic the dinosaurs by eating each other, but we have to ask ourselves the salient question: What was their fate?
      On the other hand we can choose to implement that thus far honorary label we have given ourselves: Human! And thereby implement the principles of Creation and Love.
      Whether sufficiently or adequately for it to catch on and to see us through as a species should be known in the next few thousand hears or so, (if we have that long) if not sooner.
      To encapsulate: The economy of Aikido is where everyone wins and no-one loses because it becomes a dance of energy exchanges instead of predation leading to perdition.
      No victims are made that do not make themselves so through deliberate errors of action.
      Primarily that of aggression.
      Aggression damages equilibrium thereby exacting a price from the Universe Itself!
      The foundation for augmenting harmony is Cultural Exchange and learning from each other instead of murdering those who can be your teachers such as with the invasion of native lands to forcibly implement “civilisation” through genocide in order to steal land and resources. (I’m not quite sure what’s “civil” about that doublespeak.)
      To our immense shame our mostly suppressed histories are nothing to be proud of in this regard.
      There are other ways to get even better results.
      Do we have what it takes to make a start?
      In the 1960s, a mere 50 years ago, Pete Seeger was persecuted by exceedingly immature “authorities” for publicizing this slogan: “Think Global and Act Local.” http://ralphdeeds.hubpages.com/hub/The-Power-of-Song-The-Pete-Seeger-Story
      Have we grown up as a species since then?
      The internet, has broken some barriers in this regard but the “forces of darkness” never rest and so the vigilance behooving warriors must never rest either, albeit that of a peaceful warrior.
      Individual awakening, when spread, enables everyone.
      When everyone is enabled, people stop handing over their power to the mentally ill.
      When that fortuitous day comes, if it does, we as a species will flourish!
      Until then we will continue to decline and to struggle in morasses of futility.
      The choice to implement change, both individually and collectively is entirely our own.
      There are better ways.
      Creative, non-predatorial capitalism is very possible, but it takes guts to research and to implement.
      Aikido is based on the restoring, active and deliberate maintaining of harmony, not needless and willful aggression just because you can.
      So also can economics be harmonious, but it takes dedicated work.
      Have no illusions about that.
      But the work will be far less than that of supporting corruption, because aligning to the Great Harmony of the Universe, which is already there is akin to choosing buoyancy instead of struggle in the ocean.
      It is entirely doable, and some companies already are doing so; and despite the currently evolving and still difficult politics, to their immense credit most are indeed flourishing with integrity as their mainstay.
      Politics and economy are also symbiotic.
      Unless we have enlightened policies it will not be easy to implement enlightened economies.
      Finally, for economies and economics to flourish, we must implement such liberty and security as is true and not faked so that an advancement in constructive economics can have the space to unfurl.
      If you have what it takes, anything is possible including Harmonious Economics!
      Aiki-Keizaigaku or Aiki-Keizai)
      The first nation to crack this code will take over the world without the use of explosives!

      On this basis I hereby quote these men far wiser than myself.

      Thomas Jefferson said:
      “He who trades liberty for security, deserves neither and will loose both.”

      Benjamin Franklin said:
      “He who gives up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.”

      Martin Luther King said:
      “.. moral question of our time – – the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts..”

      Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
      “We do not war primarily with races as such. Tyranny is our foe, whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilised, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat.”

      The implements of life are not going to change. The Universe is as it is. It is we who must take responsibility as to how we use them, how we respond to circumstances and events.
      Anything at all can be used to make suffering or to alleviate it.
      It begins in the mind.
      Harmonised intention is Aikido.
      The Way of Aikido is literally the way of harmonising the intention.
      Money represents a means to deploy intention.


      A holy man was having a conversation with the Buddha one day and said, “Buddha, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like. “The Buddha led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Buddha said, “You have seen Hell.”

      They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, “I don’t understand.” “It is simple” said the Buddha, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves.”

      Money is neutral. A mere symbol of something. Just like the spoons in the fable we can use it to make heaven or hell-like conditions for ourselves and others.

      To the point, when we have concatenations of truth, integrity and enlightenment the outcomes will be considerably different than that produced by concatenations of complacency, incompetence and deceit.
      Any teamwork works well. A gang of fools can be almost as formidable as a team of clear thinkers.
      The basis of all economy whether natural or artificial is a chain of events. If this chain is guided by clarity it will be able to navigate and therefore to last.

      That’s my humble view.
      The future will tell.

      Best wishes,

  4. Deep thank you.

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