Of Sensei and troubled times

It was only that after I watched IP Man the movie I understood what my sensei has been trying to tell me all these while. Remain calm in the face of assault. Something which was very difficult for me to do because simply, I am just ‘kancheung Queen’ ( slang for panicky ). And by nature– historically, I was  a reactive person. Now thanks to sufism, aikido and marriage ( seriously! ), my level of reactivity had dived down into a considerably low level, and any reaction forms only in the figment of my imagination at that point, at that time. Not manifested nor verbalised. 

In Aikido, sometimes I get nervous during training. Usually the husband is my sparring partner but there are other times the sensei made me train with the other big burly rugby built guys twice my size. And I felt intimidated by them. I mean, any husband would cut some slacks with their own wives but with the rest, training means training.

As usual, the mild mannered sensei always reminds me that it is not in the form ( of one’s opponent). It is how I tackle their assault and deal with their weak points. ‘Ki’ or energy only flows to its complete potential when the human body is completely relaxed. ‘Ki’ is recognized as a very basic and yet powerful force. I remember this lesson well. I had to bring the men down and pin them down one by one ( the husband included ). I was intimidated and thought the sensei was crazy. I was not relaxed and kept thinking, they are so huge and could have crushed me to a pulp! Of couse I failed to bring any down ( that night ).

Then on another occasion, I relaxed. I felt utterly relaxed and I was ready to learn the technique again. The sensei assigned another classmate to ‘attack’ me one at a time. I told myself  to keep calm and wait for them ( the attacks ) to come. Do not go to them first, the sensei kept telling. ‘Let them come and deal with them one at a time, when they come to you’. Deal with each one calmly, he said. With that, I brought the first man down. I ‘yayyed’ gleefully like an excited  little girl with the whole class laughing at me. I am after all the only female in the class…

So in this globally troubled social/economic times, I think my Aikido lessons are very applicable. Thanks to my sensei, I began to see that economic crisis, war and other problems are like the 3 big burly guys in my class. I cannot feel intimidated by them. I must wait and see how they attack me and deal with them, one at a time with calmness. With calmness comes ‘KI’ and a clear state of mind to bring these troubles down and pin them down.


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