Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Verbal Aikido

Morihei Ueshiba - Founder of Aikido

Akido is a Japanese form of self-defense and martial arts that practices using an opponents attack against them by using their force and redirecting it. It comes from three Japenese characters that mean unity, spirit and way.  Roughly translated, it means, the way of adapting the spirit.  Aptly named for the art it represents.  

Way old school and in-depth, but if you are really want to learn about Aikido......

I have found i can use this concept as a way of communication.

People attack each other with words; they throw verbal punches all the time.  It is easy to get defensive and match their hostility with with an equal or greater verbal punch.  

I dont like to fight.  I havent had to fight much in my life because i'm 6'6 and because i'm a lover not a fighter (there is so much wrong with this sentence). When i heard about Akido, i have to admit, i thought it was kinda whimpy.  I mean, why learn how to fight and not fight?  When someone swings at me, i wanna swing back, not redirect their energy.  I want to play offense, not defense.

When i sent my inner caveman back to his happy place i realized i was thinkging only about physical things, not about using Akido as a euphemism for other things.  So i put my newfound theoretical art into practice in other ways.  Conversations, email, parenting (i'm still pondering on how I can apply this to driving).  

When someone throws a verbal punch at me, i can possibly now step out of the conversational way, acknowledge the issue, use the momentum and energy of their attack and turn it away from me and direct it back to the problem.

This is better than fighting.  It does not match punch for punch or eye for eye but it does take the higher road and help defuse things.  

     * A punch is not an attack but an opportunity for everyone to be better.
     * An attack is not hostile but a way to learn.
     * An opponent is not an enemy when you dont fight back.

Next time someone blazes a heated email your way or hurles a giant problem punch, embrace it, and redirect it to adapt the way of the spirit.

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