Sunday 22 September 2013

Aikido and Balance

What is balance? The result of balance is stability but many within and without Aikido do not fully understand what balance is.

There is a concept in Aikido which is mind and body co-ordination. This is also to do with balance but first we must know that mind and body are always co-ordinated. The problem is 'which mind?' and the missing data is balance.

An angry mind is an imbalanced mind.

Then there is intention. A lot of emphasis is placed nowadays on intention. Yet an intention to control, an intention to harm, an intention to take anothers' centre or balance is not a balanced intention.

We see in life those who support something good and worthwhile yet are extreme. We see animal rights activists who may act very violently. Imbalance. They are thus unbalanced. When you get angry or protesty or any negative way you are suffering from an imbalance. You are at that point unbalanced.

You may feel very loving and yet lack inner peace and thus lack balance. Aikido is about developing balance. From balance comes true energy.

There is another concept in Aikido called Kuzushi. Taking someones balance, taking their centre. Where this idea comes from I don't know for it is not Aikido and is of itself an unbalanced intention.

Aikido is about giving back that which is missing. It is about restoring the attackers lost centre not taking advantage of it. Why would I take someones balance when balance is what they need?

So in Aikido it must be recognized that the attacker and the attacking mind is already an unbalanced mind, lacks true centre and is asking for restoration.
There is a problem in this world and in your world and it can be understood from the view of balance.

I say to you now that I know what you need and indeed what you want and this applies to everyone. We may search and search for happiness and contentment but without knowing what we search for we will never find it.

A little powerful word. ENOUGH. Enough gives balance.

When the body is hungry you feed it. Too much and it is not happy and too little it is not happy.

Poor people may have not enough and yet rich people may have more than enough and so both feel unhappy, like something is missing and thus they crave more yet this is self defeating. Too much is just as unbalanced as too little.
 The greedy mind, the jealouse mind, the angry mind, the controlling mind, the manipulating mind, the dominating mind etc. are all unbalanced. Thus they lack something.

 Restoration is a devine action. Aikido.


  1. Because I am an extremist balance is typically a word I abhor. However your use of it makes it completely sensible.

    I love the part about the mind and body being always co-ordinated.

    It made me consider the quality of balance, how the waves arise and move in many directions, how the whole body lights up with a kind of melodious tingle, how the outside world appears to be cubist or surreal. Fantastic!

    And your last line, “we may . . . . never find it”, sets up the perfect paradox that demands practice. If we know what we are searching for why search?

    And the horn players? Do tell. Are you, too, a Coltrane aficionado?

    Just for fun, some other bad Aikido talk: “blend with your attacker then you can lead”. Who needs to lead?! “You need to be centered”. The centers are always there, hop on!

    Keep on,
    john smartt

  2. Ha, ha. Extremist? Buddha was an extremist...extreme peace and non violence, extreme wisdom, extreme compassion. Is not enlightenment extreme also?

    We search on the path for a true understanding of Budo is love, of harmony etc. do we not? So I for one know what I am searching for....masakatsu and agatsu for one.

    We must first realize we ain't too smart or aware before we can decide to get better.

    Funny you should mention music. My son is a saxophone player...calls himself Basax. My ears are my only claim to being an officianado ha, ha. One day he came to Aikido down, sure he was stuck but said he would really test my principle of Aikido restores. So that evening I told him the discipline for the class for him. He was to BE the saxophone. To accept and take in whatever anyone did to him, to takein whatever hold or attack was given and to turn it into music. The depression flowed away...replaced by joy.

    I also agree with the concept of blending and leading. From my perspective that is good talk but badly misunderstood. It has nothing to do with control and domination or superiority. It has to do with BEING WITH. fOR ME THERE IS NO against IN AIKIDO. Oneness. From heartyou can connect with nature and discover true blending. I would go as far as to say Tai Chi was originally based on this and thus for me it is all but another aspect of the all encompassing wholeness of Aikido. If you truly blend then you are in accordance with the devine nature of the universe leading the partner out of their apathy or whatever and into freedom.

    Restoring once again and also like a gift giving a new sense of worth and balance.

    I do not look at balance as 50/50 for this gives most the idea of only needing half of something. 100% love would need let's say 100% goodness to bring about balance for example. 30% love would need 305 goodness and thus we see a scale of balance and a path of improvement.

    Centres DO something and it is for us to learn and allow rather than to interfere and try to misuse them. Centres are infinite and what they do is infinite and our true selves are infinite but our small self 'here' interferes through fear and lack of faith. Once again Masakatsu and agatsu. Such is my view J.

    Keep up the good work. G.