- For me my partner’s safety and comfort comes first, always. Without him/her I would be truly lost. If I am not giving my partner a pleasant and safe experience I might not have the pleasure of practicing again with him/her. It goes both for physical and psychological aspects. As long as we are together as partners his/her safety, and comfort, is my responsibility.
- I always do everything within my ability to make sure that the practice continues. Thus the road goes on and we don’t stop on our journey. I accept what my partner presents for me and explore what I can learn from it. As uke I will use the experience I have and do everything I can to make sure my partner succeeds in his/her movement. Otherwise the practice will end and there will be talking. When we are talking we are not practicing. That is the death of the practice.
- Going all the way down every time is deeply important for me. Stopping part way through the movement builds up some kind of tension, frustration and maybe even anger in my body. I follow my partner to the end, and if the partner insists on stopping I will keep the connection until the throw comes, or I will do the last part myself, falling as beautifully as I am able to on my own. The fall resets my system. The previous one is finished and we are starting from the beginning again with an empty mind and a good feeling in the body. As I am working through some painful traumas on the way through the movements it is really necessary for me to have the fall at the end to comfort me. I am offering the same to my partner, but it is my partner’s choice if he/she will accept my throw or not.
- I put great emphasis on trying to make a correct attack. The partner can do what he/she likes, but I concentrate on getting the attack as good as I can, every time. The posture should be beautiful at the final position of the attack. If it is a strike it should be accurate and centred. If it is a grab it should be exactly at the natural place to grab with no “edges” in the contact (and I will try to keep it throughout the movement). If it begins in a nice way, usually what follows are quite good as well.
- It is never my partner’s fault. My ego will tell me that I did nothing wrong and that the problem is that the partner is doing his/her part incorrectly. I will not try to change my partner, I am working on myself. First on my ego, to accept that I made the mistake, then technically how to deal with the problem.
YOU have my very best wishes for a Happy New Year! I hope dearly that we will practice a lot together in 2015! Enjoy your keiko! Aikido make people happy!