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June 30, 2005

Put yourself in your opponent's place

I have recently received a number of questions regarding "Put yourself in your opponent's place". However, most of the people misunderstand the meaning of it.

"Put yourself in your opponent's place" means to "move into action". However, many people only "think" about putting themselves in their opponent's place.

In the Ki-Aikido practice, there are many students who are thinking about the opponent before executing techniques.

"Think about your opponent's place" and "Put yourself in your opponent's place" are completely different.

Here is an example.

At HQ, we hold many workshops throughout the year.

Each workshop has a staff member who is responsible to prepare the workshop for the participants.

Some of the staff begin thinking too much about participants. They see a list, and imagine each participant, and think what they will do for these participants.

However, we cannot realize necessary actions from this thinking .

Why?

Because even if the staff imagines the participants, this is just their own thinking with their own viewpoint . Image and reality is different.

Therefore, I act the same as the participants. Not thinking but acting. This is the point.

When you become the real participant, then this is the real meaning of "Put yourself in your opponent's place".

I also do the as same as the participants, such as reading my mail magazine, requesting information, writing an application form, and sending money.

Sometimes, I call our office like one of participants.

And sometimes, I actually become a participant of the seminar. I use dinning hall, changing room and bathroom which are used by the participants.

In this way, I can realize many problems.

For example, paying fees. We ask participants to pay money to our post office account. However, the post office opens only weekdays and it is difficult to pay money at post office if the participants have a job on weekdays. An application form is complex. There are no hangers in the changing room; there are no staff at the counter...

We cannot say this is "Ki Society" if the conditions are like this.

Our staff loose their Ki when they are only thinking about how to do, therefore, we try to not only to think but to act. (including myself)

When you hear me say this, you may tend to think it is a natural thing to act. However, many people do not realize the difference between "Think about your opponent's place" and "Put yourself in your opponent's place".

If you think, "I am all right", you might need to look a little more carefully at yourself.

Let's put yourself in your opponent's place together.

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