Salam & hi to all,
i remembered being teased by a friend of mine few months ago, that no one shall dare to mess up with me, or else i would break their hands. i looked at him, i didnt laugh nor i was offended either. My reaction that time? i stood straight, taking the deepest breath i could before beginning my 'speech'. i knew that time i must think fast and arrange my best words for the best appropriate explanation on what aikido is actually really about to my fellow coach buddies.
ok here we go. aikido derived its name from budo, and budo can be defined with many understandings, some interprets it as a way of life, some say its the leadership (khalifah), some define it as military, and even understood it, as the submission of the fact that everything belongs to God and God creates all nature.
the word bu-do comes from the combination of 2 words 'BU', which means to stop a weapon (conflict)/to gain peace, and 'DO' means the way to suppress violence and return to the way of the universe. when we combine it as BUDO, and when we try to transform them into movements, and you can see how beautiful and peaceful they are as an art. does it not sound to you as well?
to tell you the truth, i love aikido for its philosophy and i dare to say that aikido has the best philosophy that no other martial art can be parallel. why? many reasons, among them, the founder of aikido, O Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba)never admits that he created aikido, but humbly says, the creator of aikido is the creator of the universe. this warrior who has many thousands of followers/students till today teaches us how to fight against the emotional 'disease' which is more dangerous than any plague. this man, shared his worries and taught us how to overcome them. try to read all his 32 quotes, you'l be amazed.
so, can aikido be nominated as the best martial art for its best philosophy? does it matter anyway? like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, same goes to me, it is indeed the most beautiful and suitable martial art to me. in aikido we are taught not to look down/belittle others and other martial arts and therefore i do respect the other school of martial art as long they dont promote violence and brutality. is it not difficult to combat with an unseen enemy that lives in us? in my case, it is.
ok, what about today's topic then? today i want to share something which is from my perspective of being feminine in aikido. i never considered myself being a strong lady or 'macho' woman. weird, i feel the opposite :) during class, i feel as if i were surrounded with 'kind' and 'caring' people and they are 'protecting' me. what am i talking about? protecting from what? is it another dancing episode? NOPE.
comparatively, when you yourself make an aggressive strike to any black belt opponent (lets say from taekwando school), what is the least can you expect? you would get bruises and aches from either a punch or a kick, right? this wont happened if you do the same to any aikido practitioner who applies aikido with sincerity and mercy. i have made myself as the guinea pig and tested one of them. i fell, being thrown, i rolled etc, but there was not any pain. zero. weird again right? i wont blame the taekwando guy and his respond if the aikidoka starts the 'fire'.
'not feeling any pain during aikido training' and yet we call this a martial art? whats going on in here? ok, this is why. the nage (the person who receives the attack) has the understanding that the uke (the attacker) is the 'subordinate' where he himself is the 'leader'. a leader receives an attack from his subordinate and the emotional applied is similar to a mother who receives an action from a rebellious child. there is an element of love, guidance and the determination to lead the angry attacker back to his normal senses, by bringing/pinning him down to the ground (earth). this will involve twisting the hand (for locking) but not to the extend of breaking it, enough to stop the uke from getting up to make a counter attack. in the real situation, at times, most attackers would get back to their rationale and regret of the attack made. they even admitted the attack made unintentionally. do you see the beauty of this art?
coming back to the topic. i never declare that i am stronger than any skinny man or even a lame man, neither do i ever have the guts to accept any hand wrestling challenge made by any man. i know i am a lady, and my muscles have limitations. my being in the dojo, not to show off, but to be with myself, by trying to be harmonious with others through the combination of leading with sympathy, concern and love. challenging one another or to do stage fighting isnt in the aikido teaching...if it does, then how would we achieve the nothingness in us as proposed by the O Sensei if we failed to know the enemy within our own? how can one feels humble with the clapping of hands after he has beaten his opponent half to death?
for me, male aikidokas with understanding of budo and apply them in dojo are the real gentlemen who know how to govern their enemies, and i do trust and respect them in and outside the dojo. a real man doesnt hurt any man and what more a woman even in the dojo. what actually they have to proof in the first place?hatred, temper, revenge, etc are the fuel for violence and brutality. can anyone feel safe training with trainees with this character? i dare not to put myself in such risk.
Allah SWT created Hawa (Eve) (peace be upon her) to complete Adam (peace be upon him) and this completion was achieved through love, caring, trust, respect, responsible sabr etc. women are no match to men when it comes to physical strength and men hardly can bare pain like how women do especially during giving birth to a baby. both, men and women are gifted with certain special criteria, and that is one undeniable fact. why do we ladies feel envy? do we need to alter any of our self nature? remember that when comes to power, comes great responsibilities. Allah SWT says in the Quran that there is no difference between man and woman except for his or her piety. so for the sake of martial art as another chapter of knowledge, we know where all of this aikido thing is leading us.
i feel safe when i do aikido with my opponent who applies AIKI....and i guess this explains my feminisme in aikido.