Break Falls and Beyond

Dangerous Risk Adrenaline Suicide by Fear of F...

Image by epSos.de via Flickr

I know that break falls are an integral part of aikido practice, yet I haven’t yet learned how to do them comfortably. I have always been able to do things that take coordination and trust in a good outcome.  So it surprised me to notice the approaching  ‘time to learn break falls’ practices with a bit of dread.

I feel a level of trepidation.   I recently labeled it as basic fear.

I know that lots of our  fear lives in the lizard part of our brain. The built-in fight or flight mechanism that has been with us for  millions of years. It is designed to fear death. It is smart.

I know it is extremely unlikely that death will come to me on the mat yet break fall practices wakes up that survival part of my brain.  The thought of being thrown over someone’s back triggers fears such as  loss of control, injury, rigidity, or simply embarrassing myself . Do you really expect me to trust my Nage? Really?

Maybe my mental approach needs to start with first accepting that someday I really will die.  Discarding timidity I  recognize that the world will not tilt off its axis if I get a few bumps while I take this next hip throw step.

The question? What other fears do we bring to practice? Or to day-to-day life between practices?

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