Horsey Therapist

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Defenses and Aikido

I have long had the habit of introspection, thinking about what makes this or that meaningful, why do I do this, why does she/he react that way, why, why, what, how, who, why, why, why...

Learning Aikido is easier when I am not thinking. What? Not thinking about learning something new and difficult? Yup.

Uncommon, but not all that hard. I just have to give in to the learning part of it and skip all the I'm A Good Student stuff.

(Thank you for that awareness, my Aikido/Horsemanship friends!)

I started Aikido class without really knowing what was ahead of me. I went hoping to become more centered, learn more about energy and using my body and mind softly and effectively. I never thought about the Martial Arts aspect of Aikido! Yikes.

Something has caught my attention. As I learn to defend myself (and believe me, I am at the pre-pre-K level of learning!) I find I have less to defend. What I mean is, my psychological defenses are less active as I develop some physical ability to defend myself. In the very first Aikido class I learned two escape moves, how to get away if someone grabs my arm. And it was easy once I got the feel of it.

It reinforces some thoughts I've had about the motivation for psychological defenses -- survival. No different from the survival instinct of our equine friends. Well, what we do when our survival is threatened tends to be different from what horses do, but that basis behind our actions is the same -- we are scared we will not survive. Psychological defenses stem from our early life when indeed, our survival depended on the attention and life support of others -- mom, dad, grandma, whomever it was.

I wonder what we humans would be like if we had the ability to run for our lives by the time we're 10 minutes old, rather than being dependent for months!


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