“After an Event – REGROUP!”, by Nev Sagiba

Napoleon Bonaparte would severely punish any of his troops found celebrating a victory.

The reaction you have reading this statement defines you and determines whether you will survive a real emergency requiring the output of skill.

Think for a moment. Did you think this was unfair?

Or did you know?

If you thought it unfair, you are unprepared, ego driven, blinded by it and not likely not survive a real emergency event, be this violence, natural disaster or other.

If you understood, you either have experience or insight or both.

Wasting time feeding ego makes you most vulnerable. Any enemy worth his salt will conduct an assault while your guard is down. In real survival the seeking of accolades would be a distraction. Survival is the reward in and of itself. The only one you really need.

Regrouping, recovering and making yourself prepared again is vital. Otherwise you risk squandering mind and energy, which you will need later. Increments can make the difference.

The fact is this: When it’s over, it’s usually not over. Any war of attrition is composed of many battles. Any goal sought requires many steps.

Sometimes, in life as in battle, the only rest and recovery you are going to get is that which you can catch on the hop. When you learn to identify and to claim those brief moments that appear in the aiki of life’s circumstances and extract a brief breath, nourishment and meditation, it can mean the difference between success and failure.

I’m not sure where the cliché about the fat lady singing came from, but it would appear that someone got bored at an opera.

Survival is such a drama. Nothing happens in one sound byte.

Before an event there will be many indicators leading up to it. Indeed that profiles the issue and adds predictability to your arsenal, provided you know what to look for.

The event per se may often be formed by several events.

Trained skill secures a situation expediently before it gets out of hand.

And there is usually a lot of mopping up, or paperwork or sometimes inquiries that will follow.

Violence is best left to those who would seek to destabilize the great harmony of nature and the universe. They shall have their reward. If not sooner, then certainly later.

The protectors who counter them are the immune system of the world.

Why then seek to understand the principles of warfare to use in daily life?

Well, it’s like this: The battlefield is a more intense variable of life itself. There are numerous battlefields that can train you. The dojo somewhat, but more so serving society as a viable protector, such as a paramedic, firefighter, policeman, security guard, coast guard, nurse, or any career that involves emergency response maintaining the support-systems of social infrastructure, where proper training is followed by real life experience.

If all you know is dojo and office, I hope you realise that you are also a paper tiger with dubious chances.

There is no need to enter the killing fields of war. Besides in today’s world that calling is mostly supported by machinery and technology that relies on electricity and explosives. Take that away and aside from a few special-forces personnel whose training is well rounded, you are looking at dead men walking. The poor, the assailed, the belittled, the underdogs, the downtrodden and the invaded become the better warriors and pass this on both mimetically and genetically to their generations. Something to consider when forming foreign policy intended to sustain global relations for times to come.

But that’s not a worry. More people die annually on the roads than in wars. The bulk of fatalities are traffic accidents.

The streets are where it’s at. No need to kill.

Firefighters are a disciplined paramilitary force whose mission is to SAVE LIFE and PROPERTY (incidentally Morihei was responsible for forming the first Fire Brigades in Hokkaido). Nurses, doctors and paramedics also deal skillfully with emergencies to SAVE LIFE. The police are often called upon to make high-risk, cutting-edge decisions in their roles as PROTECTORS of SOCIETY. And they have some internal battles of their own as well. The coast guard protocols vary from nation to nation, mainly those surrounded by water of course. But there also, high risk may exist and the need for qualified but fast decision making. On the other hand, you may have the tendencies to become a spy. In the field during the cold war this was dangerous and messy. As for whether we have a cold war now or not, who knows, but I often smell an Arctic breeze and wonder if it’s my imagination. Even internet technologies contain all the principles of warfare, in particular in the realm of security. You will then need a dojo for balance so that you don’t physically waste away. And so on.

There is no shortage of career moves in a viable society that will enable your Budo and offer endless opportunities to implement your Aiki. I recommend them. I do not recommend association with the opinionated inexperienced, or the stupid and arrogant who have a lot to say but cannot back it up. Nor with cultish political hoons with no identity other than that which they steal by association with real Budoka long dead.

Whilst the dojo may serve to augment: “BUDO IS FOR SERVING SOCIETY CONSTRUCTIVELY.” Morihei Ueshiba

See to it!

But it does not stop with the first incident. With experience over time, skill will increase.

In today’s world I believe they have “psychologists” who talk at you, or hopefully listen, after an event. Having a skilled counselor available is a step in the right direction.

In my days PTSD was not recognized and many a rough diamond, in all other respects unsung heroes responsible for saving many lives, became drunks or took their lives, unable to cope with the immense stresses involved.

I believe the dojo life and meditation contributed in a major way to see me through and bring me back from the brink of broken health, following some too extremely rigorous periods of service.

As well as being some of the best psychosomatic therapy available, (for the self motivated and disciplined) serving to reduce psychological stress factors and post traumatic mental distress, Aikido can serve as a dynamic meditation for resolving of intense energy by association and therby it enables you to digest such life experiences. Also it contains the possibilities for the additional health benefits of cardio, yoga, pranayama, plyometrics, the benefits of both aerobic and anaerobic, incorporates some elements of resistance training (isotonic and isometric) and constantly deals with variable and unexpected dynamics each movement (kinetics and isokinetics), includes retro-gravity negative resistance. As well, Aikido training develops muscle synergy, flexibility and muscle tone, speed of body to eye co-ordination, body-mind connection, equilibrium and adaptivity.

In the stressful world we’ve made for ourselves, the analogy of the war zone can be easier understood. As with stress management techniques, wear and tear, fatigue and ill health enable the enemy. Learning to manage it becomes a personal art and science.

There are many ways to regroup whether in the field or daily life where you find yourself. The main ones are those which work best for you in the reclaiming of yourself and enabling you to find centre and mental clarity again! Without yourself being maintained in good order you cannot serve well. Often the fact that you voluntarily took a break to recover when you could or when you made the choice to do so regardless, is all that stands in the way of a major post traumatic breakdown and/or physical health decline into illness. Turning up to training no matter what; and if you can’t because of circumstances beyond your control, making time to train solo, can most often serve to re-integrate you better than anything else. Failing that, a nap may be the order of the day to mitigate exhaustion.

Prevention being better than cure, it is better to take charge by stopping willingly than to be stopped by illness.

One of the most powerful tools a human being can have is to make the primary habit that of choosing to reconnect oneself with Life and with the Harmony of the Universe in all circumstances.

True victory is victory over oneself. This comes at the price of ongoing self-victory composed of many smaller, measured victories over time meeting each new challenge as it presents itself to be overcome.

Pieced together, these go into the forming of our character.

After an event, REGROUP. Another event will soon follow. And after that yet another. And it continues for the rest of your life. In between events are opportunities to regroup, rest and reclaim yourself. Don’t waste them. They could be the only credit your’e going to get.

When you consciously identify and capture these often brief moments, it enables you to continue where others give up.

Nev Sagiba

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