Getting out of the way is fundamental to the effectiveness of Aikido techniques. Also called blending , getting out of the way either avoids the problem altogether or gets the motion started that’s needed to redirect the attacker’s energy. Getting out of the way by physically moving is the easy part, to avoid the problem altogether can be a lot trickier and takes much more practice.
Sometimes you can’t avoid a physical confrontation. There are times when things happen that are beyond your control. But, if you pay attention and are aware of what’s going on around you there may be opportunities presented that will allow you to disfuse a potential problem. For example, if you pay attention to a person’s body language and listen to their tone of voice you can get clues as to their mood. Also, by listening to what a person is actually saying (really listen as opposed to just hearing them) you can pick up on a general feeling they may be experiencing. And, if you think before you speak or act you may be able to redirect a conversation away from a possible physical confrontation.
This nonphysical stuff is much harder to do than techniques. It requires real effort on your part to take in all the information you gather from the other person and then decide what to do with it. The thing that makes it really hard is the emotions that are involved. Either you or the other person are angry, frustrated, sad, anxious, scared and that makes it hard to think straight. You just want to react. This is when ki breathing comes in handy. By practicing deep controlled breathing on a regular basis you can create a habit that may help you in time of need like when you are emotionally stressed.
Teresa Mastison Sensei