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“THE END IS IMPORTANT IN ALL THINGS” Yamamoto Tsuentomo (Hagakure)

By: John Woodend, Reception Director

 

In Aikido, moves are called arts. Each art is divided into three separate parts. The first, is called the “attack”. That is when one’s partner, your personal assailant, comes at you with a punch, a hold or grab, or a slash with a weapon. The second part of the art, is the “defense”. This could be moving in, moving off the line of the attack, moving back, or the always fun ducking. The third part of the art is confusingly enough called the “art”. This is where the person being attacked ends the conflict, via a throw, strike, joint lock, escape, or pin.

 

While practicing, psychology and human nature takes place, and inevitably, everyone develops favorite partners. People that you would prefer to practice with. Out of the myriad of reasons these favorites develop, there is always a common denominator. The end! And if your partner performed “the end” well!

The end is the silent unspoken fourth part of the art that has no instructions. It is based on safety and etiquette. The end is when the assailant rolls out of a throw, taps out of a pin, yields from a joint lock, and ends their attack when they receive a hidden strike. The end is the most important and practical part of all of the arts. It literally is the reason one can continue practicing and no one needs to be taken to the hospital.

 

We are now starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With restrictions being lifted, plans and phases forming and being discussed, and summer around the corner, the end of this whole epidemic seems reachable in our minds eye. However, it is important to remember why “the end” is so important. The end is where we are most vulnerable.

So as news progresses and events happen, become honest and aware of what you are and are not comfortable doing. If your gut tells you not to do something. Don’t do that something. Just like practicing an Aikido art, preforming well during “this end” means unapologetically paying attention to safety and etiquette. So, you can get back up, continue to carry on and possibly have some more fun with life.

Stay safe everyone.