Issue nº 35

Alone on the path |  Ueshiba and the adversary

Ueshiba and the adversary

     Created by the Japanese master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), Aikido is the only martial art I have practiced, and in my opinion it is one of the most interesting ones. Here a few texts written down by his disciples during conversations:

     A] whoever has an objective in life, will be faced with an opposing force; in order to eliminate this force, one must learn how to make it work in your favor.
     B] a true warrior never sacrifices his friends in order to defeat his adversary; therefore, he must learn to detect and solve the problems before they appear.
     C] the best way to confront an adversary is to convince him of the futility of his actions. The warrior shows that his objective is not to destroy anything, but to build his own life. He who walks towards his dream, seeks harmony and understanding above all else, and doesn't mind explaining what it is he desires a thousand times, until he is heard and understood.
     D] do not spend your whole time looking at the problems standing in your way: they will hypnotize you and hinder any action by you. Nor should you concentrate too much on your own qualities, for they were made to be used, and not displayed.
     E] the force of a man lies not in his courage to attack, but in his ability to resist attacks. In this way, he prepares himself - through meditation, exercises, and a profound consciousness of his intentions - to stand firm and continue on the path, even if all around him try to drag him away from his goal.
     F] defeat comes before victory. The key to winning is knowing how to lose - and not to desist.
     G] in extreme situations, especially when you are near your objective, the Universe will test your intentions, demanding all of your energy. Be prepared for many great trials, as your dream becomes reality.
     H] do not look at your life with resentment, and be prepared to accept everything the gods place before you; each day brings with it joy and fury, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay. All this is part of nature's cycle - therefore do not try to complain or struggle against the cosmic order. Accept it and it will accept you.
     I] if your heart is large enough, it will be capable of welcoming all those who oppose your destiny; and once you have welcomed them with love, you will be able to annul the negative forces your adversaries bring with them.
     J] when you notice an adversary approaching, advance and speak with delicate words. If he persists in his aggressiveness, do not take up the fight unless it will bring you something; in this case, use the opponent's force, and do not spend your energy.
     L] know the right moment to use each of the four qualities nature teaches us. Depending on the circumstances, be as hard as a diamond, flexible as a feather, generous as water, or as empty as the air. If the origin of your problem is fire, it is no use counter-attacking with more fire, since this will only increase the blaze: in this case, only water will be capable of combating the evil. The problem will never teach you how to react to it - only you have the power for that.

Issue nº35