The boy was hot-wired like a hamster tied to a car battery.
That was the first thought that came into mind as my hatamoto described the scene at a local computer store as he attempted to pay out.
Hatamoto (we'll call him "Hat" for short for privacy) is at the check out counter at a the computer store. He had just pushed his buggy, loaded to the gills with computer "stuff" to the checkout counter and in order to get there he had "motor-vated" past a whole slew of folks patiently awaiting their turn at running up their charge card balance.
"Hat" is filling out the paperwork and talking to the clerk when suddenly one of the "I'm waiting in line to spend money" folks screamed at him, "I'm going to kick your ........... credit card". (That's not what he really said but I'm trying to nice here).
Mr. Credit Card Kicker then proceeds to get'him some "runny-mouth" (that's country talk for mouthing off when he should be keeping quiet) and after talking about how much he didn't like "Hat" spending money before he could, he got out of the Que' (I always liked the Brits and their funny abbreviations) and walked an incredible long way to stand just out of arms reach of "Hat" and get'him some more "runny-mouth" directed towards "Hat".
Long story 'kinda' short ............ "Hat" didn't have to work his Aikido magic on him because Mr. Credit Card Kicker walked away mumbling to himself, so "Hat" went to the parking lot, loaded his car and drove off to his office to hook up his new video game players.
When telling me this story, it wasn't to inform me of the nice customers down at the computer store; it was to tell me about him scaring himself.
He said that the entire time that Mr. Credit Card Kicker was yelling at him for absolutely no apparent reason and walking around to get closer to him to yell some more, he was absolutely calm and unconcerned and was not worried in the least and, was actually more concerned about doing some really serious things to Mr. Credit Card Kicker than he was about all the commotion.
Apparently this was the first time that "Hat" had this internal understanding of being "dead calm" inside. I told him that this was a good thing. Aikido is supposed to develop our ability to dispassionately step back and look at our opponent with no emotion being involved. By reaching this important point in his Aikido development (only done by long-term, seriously focused training) he had effectively transcended emotion and now could make a studied decision as to whether engage, or not engage, the "enemy".
More important, this decision could be made based NOT in emotional distress but instead by evaluting whether Mr. Credit Card Kicker (or someone like him at work, on the street, in the beer hall, where ever) was just gettin'him some "runny-mouth" and could therefore safely be ignored like a parent chosing to ignore a kid wanting candy at the supermarket; or whether it was an actual and serious threat to personal safety that had to be dealt with.
Long-term, seriously focused training; there is no other way.
The benefits of Aikido will never fully manifest themselves until they suddenly appear as a wonderful surprise.
Come To Class
L.F. Wilkinson Sensei
Aikibudokan, Houston, TX