As you can see, everyone is different. They come in different sizes, shapes, and heights. In America, they also come in different ethnic backgrounds. I’ve come to believe that with these physical differences there is also a personality difference, that comes in even larger varieties. People are raised differently. I believe that how they are raised strongly develops their personality. You might agree or disagree with me here and that’s ok with me.
Now, how does this relate to Aikido. Morihei Ueshiba (O Sensei) in “The Art of Peace” says:
“You cannot imitate what I do. Each and every technique is a unique, once-and—for-all experience. My techniques emerge freely, spewing forth like a fountain. Rather than try to copy what I do, listen to what I say. That is where the essence of the techniques lies. Someday, you will understand.”
Aikido is unique in that it is different with everyone but still the same. O Sensei tells us that we should not try to copy his movements because it is based as a part of him. Aikido should come from within each of us. It can be as different as we are different. Each person was a unique person. They may have similarities in size but they move differently or react differently. This forces me to learn to adjust to the many body types.
This is an interesting observation that provides us a different approach to training in Aikido. You might think, why then train in Aikido? Well, if you look at Aikido it is a cooperative training mode. Uke and Nage need to work together. The movements in Aikido are paired movements, a blending of Uke and Nage that when done properly are not only beautiful to watch but are also safe and flowing.
As we train, my fellow Aikidoka, think about how different the technique will be with a different partner.
By Rey N. Robles
Southern Maryland Aikido Center