It has been a year of Aikido practice and this story is based on my this one year of practice and understanding (Aikido) and my Yin practices and theory.
And this story is dedicated to my Aikido Sensei, Adrian Tan Wee Meng, who had guided me in this Art for a year (and continuing….). Due to my disability and condition, I could not practice the real form of the Art (be it Aikido or Karate), I practiced a “modified” way and manner that is suitable to me.
This is the philosophy that I learnt during this year and also another philosophy that I created for myself when I combine both the Arts of Aikido and Karate using my Yin practitioner’s point of interpretation.
Please note that the Philosophy that I learnt fron Aikido DOES NOT reflect the real philosophy of Aikido mainly because I am no expert in Aikido and only learnt the Art for a year. I am narrating what I had understood”ed” and interpreted from practice of Aikido.
Here it goes:
Unlike other Martial Arts, Aikido is unique in a way that it does not teach us to win over others. Instead, it teaches Harmony – To love and with love in your heart, you can connect directly to the cosmos and this is the reasoning of the word 合气.
Unlike Karate where I would perform one shot one kill, Aikido taught me to draw my opponent into my sphere of movement in order to guide him. This is where Sensei Adrian taught me the essence to contact, connect and control (“Triple C”) the opponent. To illustrate this Triple C, let me give a scenario. When a person hits me, I will enter (“Irimi”) to contact him and then use (mainly) my hand to connect with him (mainly his hand) and with this connection, I am able to control (“Katame”) him.
This principle of “Irimi” (Entering) is very crucial and must be mastered well in order to execute Aikido techniques precisely. Thus, footwork is very important here – When lets say bbfong attacks me (ccfong) head on, I quickly slide to the side to avoid bb’s blow and I enter into his (normally) back (where is is difficult for bb to counter attack) and then I will either Aikido or Karate bb from behind. Hehehehehehe!!!
This principle is very similar to Yin practice. Cos if I fight in a Yang manner, I will exchange blows with my opponent. And if I fight in a Yin manner, I will always try to appear in a position where it is difficult for him to hit me and then execute my hits. There is this teaching in Aikido as below:
“As soon as the enemy before me attacks with his sword, I am already standing behind him. When enemies rush in to strike, take one step in to the side and cut deeply. “ – Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido.
And from my learning of Aikido, to me there is also a Yin Yang in the “Irimi” (Entering): The Yang – Entering to the front of opponent (known as “Omote”) and The Yin – Entering to the back (“Ura”). All these, I will perform in my self defence seminar.
In the most impossible scenario if I ever get into a fight with you and I use Aikido techniques – This is how I will deal with you. You will come throwing rotten eggs punches towards me. Throwing punches is an act of Yang. Hence, if you show me yang with your right hand, I will irimi you and then contact, connect and control you with the yin of my left hand in a Circular Flow (“Enryu”).
Why Circular Flow?
Let’s say if I karate punch you, you stand still you get hit; you move towards (linear) me you get hit even more impact; and you move backwards (linear) from me I lose my balance and I fall onto you and you can imagine a 100kg meat rock falling onto you.
Hence and thus, in order to FREE yourself from my karate punch, you need to move in a circular manner / flow. So in Aikido, you have to follow the principle of circular flow to maintain true freedom.
To be honest, for me – learning how to connect myself with my training partner (who normally act as an attacker) and control him through the spinning (circular movement) and pinning techniques is rather quite tough for me as my legs do give way due to they being not strong. But however, I will still train hard in the modified way and manner that suits me. I normally shadow practice Aikido holding a stick like a sword and practice legs movement (circular flow) and controlling the stick because in Aikido (an unarmed Art), we used our hand as if we are holding a sword and the (fighting) stance is the same as a swordsman.
Isn’t this Art lovely?
I often treated this Art as Yin and my Karate as Yang so I would always like to combine these 2 arts together and form techniques that are useful to me.
And on the next self defence workshop, I am inviting my Sensei Adrian Tan to show and teach us the techniques of Aikido and how we modify it to suit us in our self defence.
As at for now, this is Fong Chun Cheong, wishing my Sensei Adrian Tan a Happy Birthday (6th December), signing off…