I recently started going with my girlfriends 13 year old son (gulp…almost stepson?) to Aikido training.
He is an introverted artistic kid and needs to connect the body to the head more – but without competition.
He reminds me of me at age 13, actually 🙂
For about a month, it’s been our weekly thing to go to Aikido, to “connect our heads back to our bodies”, which has been really beneficial and healthy for us both.
Aikido is NOT the perfect choice for guitarsts…there are lots of wrist, elbow and shoulder moves (and twists in the practice with others) but everyone at the school is very respectful and careful not to hurt anyone else.
The teacher is a young master, and I am enjoying being a student again. He is quiet and goes through motions to teach, more than actually speaking. Some of his sentences are just a few words.
“His foot..your ribs…bad” 🙂
At our last lesson, he gave me a great guitar tip and reminder!
He explained that a even a small woman with Aikido skill could beat a big strong guy.
Aikido moves are all based on mechanics, center of balance, craft and not strength. Someone skilled at Aikido can beat someone using strength and force.
I had an AHA moment…playing guitar should be the same.
We should use guitar and finger mechanics based on proper principles – not strength.
Earlier that day I had fallen into a guitar frustration…I was grappling with getting a faster tempo on boom chick thumb picking – and my practicing for a few days had resembled an alligator wrestle.
After the friendly reminder that “no strength is needed” and that “correct technique has the most power” the light bulbs went off musically and technically.
The next guitar practice was a serene investigation into “What works? What does not work…and why?”
In about an hour, notes started popping out just right. Wow!
That’s the difference between Power and Force.
Power is in repose and quietly waiting to serve the highest cause. Through proper knowledge tools and techniques, one has Power.
There’s no ego involved with power.
Force can get results for a little while, but can’t make it through the long haul. It’s ego driven.
Eventually force (ego, strength and effort) loses and Power wins (knowledge, physics and being centered.)
(For a fascinating scientific and spiritual read, I recommend David Hawking’s “Power vs Force“)
What’s YOUR experience? Please comment below!