Let me make one thing clear. I have never done Aikido. I know nothing at all about it, beyond “It’s a martial art”. So quite what tempted me to follow a Facebook link to an Aikido article I’m not sure.
But I’m glad I did. It was a tremendous article(*) about stopping to relearn something you can do well but not brilliantly. And it really doesn’t matter that I can’t understand any of the technical terms. I get the gist.
I can translate the aikido details into something that is relevant to me. And learn from it.
FM Alexander, founder of the Alexander Technique, wrote “Knowledge is of little use in itself; it is the linking up of what we know with that which comes to us daily in the shape of new ideas and new experiences which is of value…in other words, the value of knowledge lies in our power to make use of it” (†)
I sometimes wonder if he had Facebook in mind. I also wonder just how widespread the art of translation, or linking up of ideas, is. How many people would see that they could turn “swinging the jo” into “swinging the club”, “moving the brush”, “playing a note”, “threading a needle”, “tying a knot”, “making a cast” or anything else?
It seems to be a popular topic at the moment. In the past week teacher Franis Engel has explored ‘state-specific learning’, which explains why we are sometimes reluctant to make this translation(•), and trainee-teacher Rena Anya Devéza makes a beautiful link between learning to tango and learning the art of hands-on work(√).
The thing is, once you begin to see the possibilities for translating unlikely sources into something you can make use of, your ability to learn, improve and expand your life grows by huge leaps. Check out the articles, and see what unlikely sources you can translate in your life.
(†) Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, IRDEAT edition, p.287
Image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net