by Janet Rosen
The recent discussions regarding personality or other traits that predispose towards Aikido have prompted this researcher to question whether how one practices Aikido correlates with psychopathology to a degree that allows for use as a diagnostic tool. Herewith some preliminary findings...
Part I: General Dojo Demeanor
- Catatonia: practitioner continues to sit motionless in seiza long after others have begun partner practice.
- Bipolar Disorder, Depressive Stage: practitioner continues to sit motionless in seiza long after others have begun partner practice, sobbing quietly.
- Bipolar Disorder, Manic Stage: practitioner performs high, leaping forward ukemi over (A) and (B) long after others have changed into street clothes and gone out for beer.
Part II: Nage Role Issues
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: always starts with ikkyo, proceeds through nikkyo, sankyo, etc.; if interrupted in the middle, reverts to beginning of sequence with ikkyo again.
- Paranoid: marked preference for shihonage so he can hold onto uke while constantly checking behind his own back (psychotic manifestation: unable to complete technique with throw, instead moves between omote and ura openings repeatedly while mumbling about black helicopters).
- Attention Deficit Disorder: initiates technique but walks away in the middle of it; does not pose a hazard to uke unless the technique is sankyo in which case uke is walked out of the dojo (non-assertive ukes may end up accompanying practitioner until they get up the nerve to yell "hey you! Leggo my arm!")
Part III: Uke Role Issues
- Histrionic Personality: initiates wild attack then immediately collapses to the mat, slapping loudly and moaning.
- Submissive: does not usually manifest except during kaitennage, when there is a tendency to kiss nage's toes while murmuring "throw me, throw me, its what I deserve."
- Neurotic: takes ukemi but only after rational discussion with nage. Schizophrenic: takes ukemi but only after metarational semiotic discussion with nage.
The above merely constitutes an initial investigation. It is hoped that further research will ensue.