While practicing Aikido technique for tsuki (striking or punching) attacks, the late Mizukami Sensei said, “Wait it out. Take a glancing blow, if you have to. It’s one time.” I got it. I got pretty good at that, too. Just train.
I rigorously followed Sensei’s instruction. I waited out the attack until the last possible moment. Then I moved into the punch. Many times, I took the glancing blow. Sometimes, the blow struck full on, when I moved too late.
Still, I finished the technique whether iriminage (clothesline to the head) or kotegaeshi (wrist lock). It was one time. No sparring. No wasted movement. The attacker was on the Aikido mat.
Take a glancing blow. In over 30 years of Aikido, I’ve taken my share of hits whether to my stomach or my face. Sometimes, I got bruised abdominals. A black eye. Even a bloody lip. Still, I executed the technique: the attacker was on the mat. In Aikido practice, I waited it out, moved into the attack, over, and over, and over, and over again.
My favorite French Aikido Sensei said, “Enter the attack and die with honor.” I got that, too.
In the bigger picture: It’s all right to be uncomfortable. It’s all right to be uncomfortable when what I do is purposeful, is meaningful. The late Mizukami Sensei said, “Take the glancing blow. You’re not always going to get away scot-free.” That too was meaningful outside the Dojo, where it mattered more.
Sure, Sensei taught Aikido technique when he instructed, “Take a glancing blow if you have to…” I’ll take the glancing blow when the 250-pound dude comes full force to punch me out. What about when life comes at me full force, to take me out? Just asking.
Maybe, wait it out, too. I take a glancing blow, if I have to. Life gets messy. Nothing’s perfect. Inevitably, there shall be costs and sacrifices. When I’m willing to do what’s meaningful to me, it’s worth taking life’s glancing blows. It’s worth being uncomfortable. Just saying.
In therapy with Lance, he had encouraged me to try online dating. Initially, I had no listening for that. Rather, at that time I really hated on me. I thought, “What woman would ever want to go out with me?” Hell, if she did, then there must be something wrong.
In healing myself, I started to hate on me a lot less. I practiced forgiving myself. So, I listened and looked at the possibility of finding someone. I subscribed to Match dot com. I’m 5’ 3”. I don’t look like People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive Michael B. Jordan. Hell no. Yet, I waited it out.
I took my share of glancing blows. I got numerous rejections on Match. “I’m looking for someone bigger.” “Are you kidding?” “Is that the best you can do?” Some were even less kind.
Still, nothing’s personal. Just train. I sifted through my daily Match dot com recommendations and sent messages to women who I was interested in meeting. I asked, “What are your Favorite All-Time movies?” “Like sushi?”
That’s how I met Jacqui to see Wonder Woman and have dinner. That’s how I met Natasha, who grew up in Ukraine. Jacqui and Natasha were amazing women. Good people. No, they didn’t work out. Still, it was worth taking the glancing blows, “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, to expand myself and have a fun time. Be open to life.
I continue taking the glancing blows on Match dot com because it’s meaningful. Maybe, I’ll find the love of my life? Who knows? Lightning could strike.
Sometimes, life comes at us full force and is unforgiving. When what I do is meaningful to me, I’ll take life’s glancing blows. I’ll be uncomfortable. I’ll be as authentic as I can be.
Maybe, it’s not so much about what we’re willing to do to win. Rather, that we’re willing to fail bravely. We’re willing to take life’s glancing blows. What about you? What do you take a glancing blow for? Just asking.
This post is republished on Medium.
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