In my hometown, I didn’t have the possibility to practice Shikido. The nearest Shikido center was in the north of Italy, almost a thousand kilometers away. But I didn’t want to give up martial arts. So, I went to a Tekkido center, another martial art, different from Shikido, but equally useful and instructive.
Unlike Shikido, Tekkido was based upon precise and rapid movements. Attending the classes, I was under the impression that Tekkido mostly consisted of movements of the wrist. The first principle was to attain the maximum result through the minimum effort. Tekkido was helpful to me. Like Shikido, its purpose is to strengthen the body and mind. There were some exercises that couldn’t be done if one looked at the opponent.
“Never look at the opponent; otherwise, he will eat your soul!” the teacher used to repeat.
I applied this teaching to my daily life. Before, I was conditioned by the public’s eyes on me. Because of that conditioning, I was not natural in front of others. When I went to dance in a public dance hall on Saturday night, I was embarrassed with the thought that others were watching me. After a few Tekkido lessons, I felt freer and more comfortable.
Without caring about others’ eyes, I danced much better. I was relaxed and enjoyed myself! Since then, I have acted and lived in my own way, without looking at others, that is, without caring what others think about me.
Another exercise was to move the body backward swiftly at the very moment when the opponent launched his attack. If you moved back too early or too late, the opponent would succeed in hitting you. That also happens in life, not only in human society, but also in the animal world. Every action, either to defend or to attack, has to be done at the right moment. The hare that wants to escape the attack of an eagle crouches down motionless and waits for the very moment when the eagle is about to clutch it with its claws. Then, all of a sudden, the hare moves sideways. If the hare wants to survive, it has to move at the exact moment when the raptor is very close. Since the eagle dives very fast, it can’t change the direction of its dive at the last moment. The hare owes its salvation to her waiting for the exact time to move aside. Moving too early or too late would be fatal to it.
This principle is also valid in daily life. From then on, I have tried to be not too early or too late in seizing the opportunities that life offers to me. By acting at the right time, I can avoid bad luck and also meet good luck on time.
This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind