The Aikido Of Love


At first, I think I feared the ring.  After all, men
entered it, and fought within its corners.  Women
entered it, as well.  Each learned.  Perhaps I became
fascinated by it as I grew in Christ.  Perhaps the fear
slipped away over time.  

But the thought of the Master's fighting studio, and
the rope-bound ring in the center, began to haunt me.

One day, when no one was looking, I drove to the
alley near the studio.  I parked, hoping no one saw
me.  I thought, even though it was daylight, that
somehow the shadows at the back door would drive
me away.

But I had to at least try, you see.  To try to be a
fighter.  

I walked up the steel ramp steps, and then as I
reached to knock on the metal door, He opened it.  

"You are quite late," The Master said.  "You should
have come to First Class sooner."

And I walked with Him into His fighting studio.

Then the training began.

Stance.  Form.  Stance again.  Better Form.  Blocking
air.  Blocking imagined opponents.  Hand strike hard.  
Change stance.  Now again, but stronger, and faster.

First Class was glorious!  I was sure all these kata's
were the ultimate Christian experience!  Yes!  I
learned the kata of dogma, of argumentation, of
comparative religions!  It was the peak of all
Christianity.  And the Master often encouraged me.

At home, I demonstrated my kata's to my wife.  I put
on my best belt of rhetoric, and my best fighting
clothes with embroidery stating 'defend the faith!' in
contrasting satin letters.  I could recite the dogma and
the logic.  It was a good time in my life.  Christianity
was so simple.

One day, the Master spoke, 'Let's place you against
an opponent.'

I entered the ring, and showed my kata.  It was
perfect.  My opponent watched, and then knocked me
to the ground.  I vomited.  

"Welcome to Second Class." said the Master.

Thus, I learned 'Strike Fighting'.  Full contact.  Full
armor.  Leather gloves.  Full face masks.  Head strikes
allowed.  Joint-locks and kick-trapping allowed.  Full
body throws allowed.  Deadly strokes must be pulled
short.  

"Where is the sport in this?" I asked one day.

"Sport?" replied the Master.  "I thought you came for
combat training...."

I was embarrassed, until another fighter-in-training
admitted that he too, had thought this was all sport.  
There was no sport.  There were no points.  There
was blood on the ground.

Yes, I learned how to Strike Fight -- to rebuke,
exhort, and excommunicate.  No forgiveness allowed.  
No love until the opponent repented.  All sins were
sins of choice by definition - there was no such thing
as a weak vessel.  I developed "gifts" to break the
wood of hearts.  Mercy consisted of an honest and
brutal rebuke within the ring, until blood fell upon the
mat.  This was spiritual warfare.  This was combat.  
For a time, I gloried in it.

I was certain my Master was pleased.

One night, He sent a messenger to my house.  The
messenger gave me a black envelop.  Inside, was an
invitation to the ring:  "Come to Third Class."

Of course, I came.  Who wouldn't?

I entered the fighting studio.  There was no one else
there.  

The voice of the Master called out, "Only street
clothing." I put my bag of gear down in obedience.  

"You cannot learn the Third Class if you wear all that
protection." Said the Master's voice in explanation.

I entered the ring, slipping between the ropes.  The
mat under my feet was much harder than normal.

"Who's my opponent?" I asked.

"I am" He replied, as the Master entered the ring.

And without further warning, my Master attacked me
with 'Beggar's Hands Forward'.  I stripped His feet
from under Him with a sweeping leg, and sent Him
face first to the floor.  I body-dropped, and my elbow
went into His left upper back with a perfect 'No Mercy
Given'.

The Master tapped the floor twice, and I rolled away
to my corner.  I stood.  The Master stood.  There was
blood dripping from His lips.

But I did not care.  I was trained for spiritual warfare.
 This was combat.  This was glory.  This was righteous
living.  I was here to exalt a nation at any cost... even
a cost to Him.

"Attack me," He said, "With Beggar's Hands
Forward".  

I complied.  Three steps forward, hands extended
slightly outward and upward.  From this position, the
beggar will attack your eyes or stomach.  If the
beggar is quick enough, it is said 'the beggar's hands
can steal your wallet'.  Thus, it was important to
always avoid the Beggars Hands, and to sweep the
beggar hard to the ground.

The Master stepped in without a sweep.  Then, He
took my hands and guided them even further out.  He
turned his entire form under the hands - avoiding my
strike, and then pushed me forward towards His
corner with His own hands.  I never fell.  But my strike
never made contact.  The Master's body had been so
close, that I sensed His breath.

"Attack me again." He said.

I turned, and attacked with 'Heretic's Knee' full force
- the knee contacts the midsection of your opponent
thus removing his balance and center of doctrine.  To
defend, you simply avoid the Heretic's Knee, and then
kick the attacker in the head, removing them from the
ring - it is called "Committee Kill'.

But the Master stepped in.  There was no avoidance
nor a kick to the head.  With His body, He bent over
the knee that contacted His midsection and absorbed
the blow.  Then, He slipped an arm over my throat
until His shoulder contacted my neck.  The Master
centered Himself, and turned me about with His body
guiding me again.  I could feel the sweat from His own
brow and cheeks sprinkling on my face.  

Again, when He finished turning me around, I faced
His corner.

"Are you injured?" He asked stepping slightly away
from me.

"Not at all." I replied.

"Where are you facing?" He asked.

"Towards your corner, Master." I replied.

"So you are." He stated.

And then He said, "When you were young, I taught
you First Class -- forms and laws and rules.  This was
Moses' Law -- justice.  Then, in Second Class, I taught
you to strike at wrong, and to set the right.  This is
Moses' Law in action.  I could not teach you 'mercy',
for you were too enraptured about making my church
pure."

I looked at Him.  "But I learned the mercy of 'Quick Kill
Now'."

"Yes, you did." He replied, "For your heart could not
bear any other forms of mercy."

I paused.  The Master continued, "Remember when I
told you that Quick Kill Now is also called Run From
Pain?"

I nodded... but did not understand what He said for
years.

The Master then continued, "You must learn the
Aikido of Love.  You must allow the attack, move into
the attack, feel the weight of your attacker, turn them
about to My Corner, and leave them unharmed.  You
must 'bear their burden' - this is not Moses Law, but
this is the Law of Christ."

The years passed.  Many times, the invitation came
"Come To Third Class".  Many nights I argued with
Him about the "need" to strike back.  He would teach
me again, the Aikido of Love.

I once told Him that I preferred to be First Class or
even Second Class.  

The Master replied, "Third Class teaches you to be the
servant of all.  And then, only then, are you great
within my fighting studio."

I began training as a man.  I am in training now, as a
woman.

I have never fought another opponent, only Him.

To be truthful, one opponent looked like an ex-felon
that stayed within my basement, and I turned Him
multiple times towards the Master's Corner.  Yet, my
Master said that the 'least of these' were really Him in
disguise.  Thus, I learned to be gentle with him over
time.  Who wishes to strike hard and then see their
own Master bleeding?

One opponent looked like a pastor, but oddly, he had
no knowledge of the Aikido of Love.  He caught me
off-guard (for I did not expect the attack and wore
only street clothing).  I was badly hurt.  Yet, later, we
made close contact, and I turned that immature
fighter -- that pastor -- towards the Master's Corner,
gently, helping to encourage him to not give up
learning from the Master.

One opponent looked like my wife.  I learned to let her
attack, and to absorb the kicks of anger and
disillusionment.  Her claw-hand strike of shattered
expectations pulled blood from my left arm one day...
I foolishly struck her and raked her shoulders with the
same claw-hand (after all, I had shattered
expectations as well, yes?)... she vanished, and the
Master stood in her place, blood flowing from His
shoulders.  

"If you wish your marriage to last," He stated to my
face, "Learn the Aikido of Love."  I wept, as I cleaned
His/her blood from the mat for days.

I have therefore learned to turn even my wife
towards the Master's corner, with gentleness, with
encouragement, and with allowing her to strike me.  
How often I have chanted in my training corner, "You
must allow the attack, move into the attack, feel the
weight of your attacker, turn them about to My
Corner, and leave them unharmed.  You must 'bear
their burden' - For this is the Law of Christ.  This is the
Aikido of Love."

The Aikido of Love never stopped the transsexualism,
indeed, I think it allowed me to accept transsexualism
all the sooner (for I stopped fighting my own self and
turned my heart to the Master's Corner for healing).  
But the Aikido of Love gave my spouse and I a chance
at learning to fight as Jesus did -- not as Moses did,
for that is Second Class.  

My spouse and I wish to live Third Class, as the Master
did.

As of this writing, my wife and I enter the ring more
and more together.  The Master has taught us the
Aikido of Love towards each other.  Now, we are
learning to fight as One Team, and use the Aikido
against those that seek to Strike Fight against us.  
They are immature fighters, and need to be turned
towards the Master's Corner.  We understand,
because we were once Strike Fighters too.  Adversity
now makes us closer.

The other day, the Master called me to one side
during a particular long bout of Aikido versus Strike
Fighting.  "Tigress," He said, "did you sense your
opponent's breath?"

"No." I replied.

"Tigress," He continued, "did you feel his sweat fall
upon you?"

"No." I replied.

"Little One," He replied, "You are too far distant.  Feel
their labored breath, feel their pains that worry them,
and feel their tears.  Then, it will easier for you to turn
them towards me, for I am always within the Master's
Corner."

He smiled, and then said, "Good Woman, the hearts of
your opponents are often crying out, "Sir, we would
see Jesus."  Turn them towards me, Little One, for
only I can heal the broken or desperate heart."

You see, I am still learning the Aikido of Love.


*****

Much love in Christ;

Caryn



(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2006

The Aikido Of Love
This is a short-short story of
growing  in Christ.  

    Originally, I kept this story in
    the "Collection of Short
    Works, Letters, and Poems",
    but later, decided that the
    story is simply too important
    to risk being overlooked.

    Thus, I moved this particular
    short work to the main table
    of Contents.

Oh, "Aikido" (Ah-kee-do) is a form
of self-defense.  Or is it really,
when used by Jesus Christ?

Please enjoy!

Much love; Caryn

Caryn