One of the sayings that I vividly remember my instructor talking about was the saying ” Get knocked down 6 times, get up 7 . . . “. When he first said it, I thought “Yeah! Stay tough! Don’t give up!”, but as I look back on it, it really had so much more meaning than I was initially aware. Many “simple” messages are like that, aren’t they?
In Aikido, one of the reasons that conditioning is required, is because we repeatedly get thrown to the ground, and must get back up and do the technique again. On a good night, we may get thrown down 80-100 times. Doesn’t sound so bad? Come and try it, I think you will agree you will get a good workout.
Some Martial Arts students view getting knocked to the ground as a “failure”. Aikido students view it as just another night of training. What is the difference then? It is the meaning assigned to the experience itself (falling).
The famous psychologist Victor Frankl wrote a wonderful book called Man’s Search for Meaning. In it, he described that any particular experience that one person had, was less important than the meaning that the person assigned to that experience.
For example, A woman may get raped and view it as a devistating experience, or, through being an advocate for other victims, view it as an empowering experience. The same experience can ruin your life or empower your life.
So, when you get “knocked down” in Aikido, or life, how are you going to view it? As a failure, or a empowering experience? We must get knocked down in order to learn how to pick ourselves up. But the bottom line is; there are no devistating experiences, only learning experiences. So, no matter how many times you get knocked down, get up again, and use it as a empowering experience.