Can someone please explain the toilet paper thing to me??

Future chuck TP

On the plus side, I did get to include a Supernatural meme so I think this post is starting off well, don’t you?

Yes, the craziness continues, my friends. So, how about another martial arts lesson that can be applied to the pandemic panic? First though, have you read Parts 1 and 2? Start there and then come back here to continue!

Aikido is known as the gentle martial art…which has often made me laugh. I’d never had a black eye or broken bone before aikido. I’ve now had several, and I’ve been part of others gaining them too. It is a martial art.

However, it truly is also gentle in at least one way.

Part of what appeals to me in aikido is the control and precision it offers. We use the analogy that we want to be able to place a drunken friend gently down while also having the ability to stop an armed intruder in our home. There are options in our responses.

We spoke of this previously, but I think it’s important to extend that discussion to include our training partner. That’s where the gentleness in aikido comes in.

First though, I don’t want to get into a discussion of one’s rights of self-defense. I also don’t want to provide any advice which could cause someone legal issues so that’s NOT what this post is about.

Let’s get back on those aikido mats, shall we?

Injure yourself

Learning technique comes in stages of awareness. Yes, there are individual differences as always. There are also some rank standards that can often be applied to most students. As you watch a student progress through the ranks, you see their growth. One area of development is in awareness, not just of themselves but of their partners.

It is a skill to match speeds and positions. It is a skill to adjust when your training partner moves in a new way. It is a skill to work with a new, unknown partner. It is a skill to ‘control’ a new student who is fearful and panicking. It is a skill to respond to attacks from multiple partners with different styles and preferences.

It takes awareness and skills to protect yourself and care for your partner.

Do you have the power to hurt your partner? Of course, you do. They also get to practice their technique and have the power to hurt you. Aikido encourages both to take care of and to protect one another.

How does this apply to the pandemic?

Fear may prompt you to hoard all the supplies you can…you can choose not to hurt others though by only buying what you need. 

Fear may prompt you to lash out at loved ones…you can choose to bite back angry words, breathe, and take another path.

It’s perfectly okay to feel the fear, anger, and all other emotions. It is not okay to always act on those emotions. That’s where the precision and control on the aikido mats can be applied to our daily lives. We can decide to act in other ways despite our emotions.

Now, we have already spoken about failures, but I want to repeat it here. It’s great to want to change your behavior, but please do expect some difficulties, expect some failures. There is a quote attributed to actor Stephen Amell that he didn’t mind fans getting angry about his character’s failures – it meant they cared. I always remind myself of this when my own characters make questionable decisions! Yes, a part of me does want to anger readers as that means they also care about my characters!

Back on point though – getting upset about failing simply means you care and that’s a good thing. You should care about yourself and others. However, it takes effort to express that care in healthy ways. That’s the point I want to emphasize here before we move on again.

We can make the choice to protect and care for others in our lives.

We can even decide to help others during this difficult time. Perhaps you can check on neighbors or mail a note to loved ones? Maybe you can donate to local charities? Maybe you have a skill you can share online? Maybe you can actually stay home?

Use your power to do something good! 

Great responsibility

Have you used your isolation time to do something good?

Do you have ideas to share with the rest of us?

Have you struggled with your choices but kept trying?

Do you want to talk about doing good?

Please feel free to share this blog and your own thoughts! We truly can learn and grow together!

Even Superheroes are stronger when they work together so let’s do something good together, friends!

-RSJ

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Survival: Lessons from martial arts [Part 3]

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