by Llorenç Coll
“Contemplate the workings of this world, listen to the words of the wise, take all that is good as your own. With this as your base, open your own door to truth. Do not overlook the truth that is right before you. Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything—even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees—should be your teacher”. The Art of Peace Morihei Ueshiba
The word Aikido is formed by three ideograms, Ai (harmony), Ki (energy), Do (path). It is a martial art that is oriented to the integral development of the human being and shows us the way to resolve conflicts looking for a non-aggressive solution. Thus, his goal is not to defeat an opponent in a fight but to redirect the conflict by harnessing the energy of the other’s attack to a neutral point where no one is injured. That is why it has been called the Art of Peace. A peace that also refers to the state in which the Aikido practitioner should be. Only from calm can you find the positive solution to a conflict, be it of any kind: physical, psychological or emotional.
Thus, in the Art of Peace, you learn to work the conflict. Conflict is part of life and we will meet it on many levels. The natural or instinctive tendency in these situations is the fight or flight. Aikido makes us a new proposal: harmony. Flow with the opponent, flow with the energy of the attack and balance this energy. In order to achieve this the most difficult thing is not all that must be learned: technique, repetition, internalization … but what must be abandoned: the ego, the power, the intention to win. To get to this point you have to do a very powerful internal work, seeking your own inner peace. Filling in what is empty and emptying what is full. In Aikido, conflict is not confrontation, it is only the other side of calm. Join and build. Creates. In the Art of Peace, conflict serves to know oneself and, from here, to learn to respect and protect others and everything around us.
Llorenç Coll is a physical education teacher at Sa Llavor, third Dan of Aikido, with more than thirty-five years of experience in the world of martial arts and twenty in Aikido.