Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I have never been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), then again my parents never had me tested. It's not a common thing in Indonesia, at least back when I was in elementary or junior high, to get somebody diagnosed with ADHD, we simply think that the child has disciplinary issues.

I was not that bad. I was mediocre with sometimes less than average achievement during my first 9 years in school. Then I went to a military academy, by my own request, and did very well academically for the 3 years I was there. Maybe I do have disciplinary issues. When I the academy, I didn't do that well in the university either. That's enough of my academic history for now.

I may have a mild version of ADHD. I do have a bit of a learning disability. My mind wanders off after a while, easily distracted, and trouble sitting still for too long. I have difficulty of piecing together thoughts. When I read my eyes goes all over the pages skipping words and lines. At times I need to re-read things because I lost the context of the writings. When I write my thoughts have to many things to put down, going back and forth, such as now. On top of that, my blood type is B, which according to the Japanese have their own issues, as well as advantages of course.

I took up aikido in 1998 under the guidance of Hakim sensei during my "second round" of my university education. The reason of taking it up was quite pragmatic actually, I've torn my knee ligament and had surgery done a couple of years before. My basic was Tae Kwon Do back then, did both WTF then ITF.
A few years later (I think 2001/2002) a couple of my anime/manga mailing list friends introduced me to Ki-no-kenky┼źkai under the guidance of Kinoshita sensei. Our organization was affiliated with Aikikai, so if you are familiar with the rift between the two organization then I need not say more. I was not aware of this at the time, but this is for another story, let's just say that I was accepted after a period of scrutiny.

I would actually say that we had no technical training but a lot exercises and this is what we do every training. Study the principles, do them, test them, over and over again. Practicing one mind one body.

Kinoshita sensei made a point that every movement must be done 100%. Not thinking of what is going to happen next or what just happened. The mind must not be separated into different parts, it must be one. In other words, no "multi-tasking". Many people boasts their ability of multi-tasking, but when a person multi-tasks the mind focuses less on each tasks. Doing 2 things at the same time means doing each of them with 50% focus or less. Science has proven this and many were presented in articles or TV shows such as in NatGeo or Discovery.

Kinoshita sensei went on that when working, focus on the task at hand and do not think of the other things. After you have done allocating your resources for this task, you move on to the next. This is more like time management, taking things one at a time but dedicating ones full focus.

In practice, it is the same, each movement is meaningful. There is no such thing as formality. All is done 100% with 100% effect, not worrying about what comes next or what just happened, let's say splitting the mind 80-10-10.

For example with zengo undo (turning 180 degrees back and forth exercise), when you are at one side you do not worry about the other side, but when it's time to turn your mind is already 100% there. The same whether you are doing four directions or eight directions. How and when to turn is part of the practice and experience.

When one starts practicing, one will be taught to do it one step at a time. One technique may have 10 steps and these are done taught one by one. Each move must be done at 100% before moving to the next one, once you moved to the next one, you do not worry what had just happened that was in the past, and you do not worry what is going to happen next as that will be in the future, you focus on the now. Worrying about what just happened and what's going to happen will split your focus. This takes training. Each step is done at a 100% before moving on to the next one rather than only giving 10% for each 10 steps. This is true for every thing, there is only one you.

Once you have practiced correctly and thoroughly, it is no longer that you take it one step at a time, but you have taken the whole thing as an end to end process, instead of 10 steps you see one process. When you give this process 100%, then you have given 100% to all of the steps at the same time.

When facing many opponents, it is the same principle. When facing one, you are not worried about the other. How to do this must be explored in practice. You give 100% to one opponent, and then another, and then another. When you are dealing with one and worried about another, your focus goes lower than a mere 50%, as to think about thinking of the other opponent has taken away a percentage of your mind as well.

What about having all of the opponents as one? This clicked to me when I saw Kubota sensei was demonstrating a technique when his hands were grabbed by two people. First he will demonstrate the technique when one person grabbed both his hands, then he'll have one person grabbed one hand and then demonstrated the same technique, then he will have one demonstrated for his other hands. Then it clicked, it is not a technique of managing two separate people, but a technique of managing two people as one entity, or somebody that is of twice the size/strength of one person. If the mind is able to perceive this, with correct practice, then it is probable. After that apply it for multiple opponents that are attacking freely. Easier said then done. That's why such concept must be explored / experimented upon in order to be understood.

Albeit facing one or many, there is only one you and there is only one mind and body, therefore the principle must be the same, one is many and many is one.

1 comment:

  1. This is not the original blog... somehow it got reverted to an older draft and I needed to rewrite it... and I actually forgot what I wrote...