What's Up With The Name?

Mental Aikido

This may seem an odd name for a blog that contains many political essays and news commentaries.

The name came to me one day when I decided to move my writings form other places and attempt to compile them in one location. As a side note, I still have yet to move all of them. Some of them got lost in various changes and upgrades from MySpace and Friendster. Yes, I have been flirting with social networking sites that long.

Before MySpace turned into the galactic black hole of garbage it is now, I blogged regularly. I belonged to a little blogging group that posted a topic a week. Each week I sat down and wrote an essay pertaining to the topic. Many of the better essays ended up here. Since I was still active military, I kept most of these to other subjects I knew, staying out of the political realm as best I could. When in the military, even writing items in the socio-economic or historical realms can be misinterpreted as political opinion pieces that could quickly take on a deluge of dark, filthy water. That water can also quickly heat to an uncomfortable 400+ degrees in seconds, ruining a military career.

Most of my writings during those times revolved more in the topics of philosophy or military life. I study philosophy. I use the present tense because I continue to read, ponder, and write on the subjects of metaphysics, ethics, and other philosophical sub-categories.

I also study akido. Of the martial arts, it is the one I am most fascinated with. I love the art. I love the beauty of it. The grace is amazing. The physics behind aikido are astounding. However, I was reading a book by O Sensei about the time I started this blog. O Sensei was a true martial artist and master. He not only taught various techniques within a "fighting style" but demonstrated a spiritual philosophy that matches the movements and techniques. Among those are several key points that I hold dear and wished to bring to my writing.

The most prominent aspect of O Sensei's teachings, to me, is a simple idea: The only way to defeat an enemy is to make him no longer a threat. The optimal and most beneficial way to achieve this outcome is the most difficult. But it is the one we should strive for. That method is to turn his point of view so that he embraces you as an ally, and no longer an enemy. At that point, you have not only taken away a threat, but added one to your numbers.

The second aspect is the idea of the "one point". Physically you can call this your center of mass or center of balance. It really is that physically and spiritually. Everything revolves around that "one point". It isn't just your body that revolves around this, but your spirit. Your perceptions are based upon which direction you are looking out from that "one point". It is your foundation, your core, your root. It is where you go back to when all else seems out of sync. It is also the point around which you alter your opponent's balance, momentum, and perception in order to disarm him.

So, in this blog, I attempt to shift perceptions, ideas, and opinions around that "one point". To do so, I seek that one point:  The Truth as supported by facts and data. One with an opinion devoid of these is out of balance, and easy to trip up. If you can get the opponent to then shift perceptions to recognize the "one point", then he just may find balance and also seek the truth. If done right, that foe just may end up an ally.

When I retired from active military duty, the shackles of an apolitical career were cast off. I considered starting a new site with a different name for just political essays and articles. However, when I pondered the initial meaning behind this site, I found the meaning applies to all subjects I write about, especially political and socio-economic subjects.

To "Mental Aikido" I also add another phrase:  "Verum Petitor", Latin for "Seeker of the Truth".