Attack on Atai
“Listen to the voice of Aikido. It is not for correcting others; it is for correcting your own mind”
Now, a shallow and single-minded Tucker is a Tucker that fails to notice subtle but very important details in the world around him, like one notable castmate ‘Jack’ who has an uncanny way of moving about and interacting with his environment that would suggest he has a heightened awareness of the objects and energy around him at all times.
Jack also had remarkable fluidity of motion, which explained his confidence and agility walking around on Kalea. I noticed this right away. And how he never seemed to lose his balance.
There was a reason for all this. Unbeknownst to all of us, and something we were about to find out, Jack was an advanced practitioner of the martial arts — Aikido, in particular.
Morihei Ueshiba developed Aikido as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. ‘I want considerate people to listen to the voice of Aikido. It is not for correcting others; it is for correcting your own mind,’ he proclaimed.
Aikido is often translated as ‘the way of unifying with life energy.’
The goal of Aikido is to create an art that practitioners can use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury. The techniques consist of fluid entering and turning movements that strategically redirect the momentum of an opponent’s attack.
It was this Aikido training that enabled Jack to masterfully redirect the energy in Tucker’s brutish attack and use it very effectively against him, which resulted in a most embarrassing faceplant just inches from the red-hot burning embers of the campfire.
Tucker was humiliated.
But he was also sensible enough to realize that he was not going to be able to inflict much damage on this skilled and disciplined opponent — one who could easily anticipate his next move.
He got up, brushed the sand off his face, and hastily retreated down a path into the interior of the island.
Jan did not hold back her feelings about Tucker’s aggressive behavior and violent outburst,
“What an asshole.”
To which Clara added,
“Too bad. Such a hottie, but such a hothead.”
So much for a sizzling romance between those two firecrackers, I thought to myself.
But my mind snapped back to something Jack had said to Tucker. ‘It is our ability to reason, to evaluate, and to cooperate that makes us the dominant species on the planet. Cooperation within a species trumps competition among species.’
Those words from Jack resonated with me. But I felt there was something missing there.
I asked Lua about her life at home on her island. Was it primarily a competitive culture or a cooperative one?