In Aikido, when receiving the attack, the late Mizukami Sensei said, “Have no preconceived notions.” Wait it out. Take a glancing blow if I have to. It’s one time.
No preconceived notions was Sensei’s lesson. I don’t know what the attacker will do, what the attack will be. It could be a punch. It might be a grab to the shoulder. Be present.
Mizukami Sensei taught me to create my Aikido technique from mushin, from the empty mind, from nothing. The technique could be iriminage (clothesline to the head) or kotegaeshi (wristlock) depending upon the attack and the attacker.
The attacker could be bigger, stronger, faster than me. That’s irrelevant. I match up with the attacker and the attack. According to Mizukami’s Aikido Math: Everything adds up to 100%. If the attacker comes with 80%, then I do 20%. If they come with 30%, I do 70%. Paradoxically, I want the attacker to attack full force, near 100%. Then I have to do far less. Again, everything adds up to 100%.
The bigger, stronger man attacks me. I match his attack in my attack. No preconceived notions. I just do the math. I enter what I fear, get under the sword. That’s the safest place to be. I invent the greater-than version of me. I choose who I am, what I do.
O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba said, “True victory is victory over oneself.” I’m my GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) opponent. Ishibashi Sensei teaches, “Appy the (Aikido) technique to yourself.” It’s me against me. I overcome myself, not others. I work on myself, not on them.
In the bigger picture, I know what I can and what I used to do. I make it work. I’m not pretending to be something that I’m not. That’s my true victory over me. I have nothing to prove. I’m as authentic as I can be. I’m the best version of me. No pretense.
After working on taking forward rolls from kotegaeshi in Thursday night Aikido practice, I said good night to Ishibashi Sensei. He smiled, “We’ll work on that some more on Sunday.” I smiled back, “Yeah, I’ve always got something to work on…” That’s a good thing.
The late Mizukami Sensei taught Sensei and me to just train. It’s not like we have to get somewhere. Mizukami Sensei was the humblest man I knew on Planet Earth. We constantly work on our Aikido, work on being better people.
I’m far, far better at Aikido than at online dating. I have a greater chance taking down the 250-pound dude attacking me, than taking out a woman on Match.com. Then again, I’m Godan (5th degree black belt) in Aikido with nearly 35 years of training. I’ve spent about 3 years on Match.com. So, there’s that.
I’m 5’3”. I’m not handsome. I’m not rich. I’m not exactly what a lot of women are looking for. I have no preconceived notions. That’s just what I work on.
I have no pretense about online dating. It’s not the best match for me. I’m still in the game to fall madly and deeply in love. Whether I’m on Match.com or not, I’m as authentic as I can be, the best version of me. I do what I love. I have as much fun as I can for as long as I can. Maybe, I’ll find the great love of my life. Or maybe not. At least I know that I tried. Who knows? Lightning could strike.
In the bigger picture, I have no pretense in who I am, what I do. I know what I can and what I used to do. I love and forgive mine own self. Time is undefeated. Yet, life is wonderous in its uncertainty. I shall live for the surprise. After all, everything adds up to 100%. Do the math.
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