How To Aikido Your Problems | The Power of Flow

How to Aikido your problems:

Aikido is the process of redirecting the energy of an attack away from you.

The philosophy of Aikido can be directly applied to your life and the conflicts you face. To use Aikido and the power of flow simply:

  1. Notice the problem
  2. Accept the problem fully
  3. Transform the problem

In this way you can deeply accept what life throws at you and come out the other side in better shape than when you started.

What is Aikido?

Aikido is a Japanese martial art form comprised of movements that redirect an opponent’s attack, founded by Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido embraces the momentum of an opponent’s attack and uses it against them, redirecting that same attack.

This martial art is different from most in that it’s meant to keep both the attacker and defender free from harm.

Classic martial arts such as karate, jiu-jitsu, & boxing have 2 separate parts to them: attacking moves and defending moves.

In Aikido, defensive moves are also attacking moves. This is because your attacking move is just using your opponent’s attack against him.

You fully accept and transform the attack that is directed towards you.

The philosophy of Aikido can be taken and applied to ourselves and the struggles we encounter in life.

What can we learn from Aikido?

Aikido is founded in a philosophy of oneness and unity. In fact, Aikido literally means “way of unifying energy”.

It does not consider the attack to be separate from the defense. If you’re a fan of non-duality you may also believe that there is no separation between attacker and defender.

See my article “The Illusion of Self: The Secret to Judging Less and Loving More”.

There is a concern for the well being of our assailant who is trying to injure us in Aikido. There is love for our attacker even when they are intending to harm us.

What more can Aikido teach us?

Using the power of flow

Notice the duality in “conflict”. There are 2 separate sides pushing against each other. It feels harsh and brutal.

Now notice the unity in “flow”. There is one swift motion coming in and being redirected out again. It feels softer, and has an essence of love in it. You aren’t in conflict in flow.

Do you see the difference?

This is what flow in regards to a real world problem looks like:

  1. Notice the problem
  2. Accept the problem fully
  3. Transform the problem

The first step in this process is recognizing the conflict or issue in your life. You must be aware of the conflict in order to do something about it.

many people miss this step because they are too unconscious. A great example of someone who skips the first step is someone who is in denial. Another pitfall of the first step is distracting yourself from the problem at hand, pretending it doesn’t exist.

It is through acceptance that we achieve transformation

A counter intuitive part of this process is accepting the conflict or problem. Why would you want to accept the thing that’s causing you suffering?

Because what you resist persists.

By resisting what you are struggling with, you are withholding love and acceptance from the situation. We need to bring love and acceptance to the situation to transform it.

Realize that nothing in the universe is inherently good or bad. We as humans with a dualistic perspective label things as good or bad. But everything is made of the divine nature of the universe. It is all love and deserves love & acceptance.

This is especially true when it comes to struggling with negative emotions

Applying Aikido to our emotions

It goes against common logic to embrace the thing you’re struggling with, but give it a try next time you find yourself feeling down. Really let yourself feel bad. Feel it in your body and your mind and be okay with the emotion being there. In fact… welcome it.

By resisting it you are adding additional suffering.

You will find that after a while the feeling will pass. By becoming ultra present with the negative emotion and allowing it to be there it will leave on its own accord.

Realize you don’t have as much control over your emotions as you initially believed. You do, however, have the autonomy to accept the emotion or resist it.

You can either feel bad and accept it fully with love in your heart… or feel bad about feeling bad on top of already feeling bad.

Resisting the negative emotion by distracting yourself or forcing yourself to try and “be happy anyways” will only make it worse.

Don’t fight against it. Flow with it.

Problems are opportunities in disguise

Remember how I said that nothing in reality is truly good or bad? That concept is going to be important for this section.

How you frame your struggles is important.

In Aikido the attack brought against you can be seen as an attack to be defended… or as an opportunity to reverse the situation on your attacker.

Every attack brought upon you has momentum. It has an energy to it. You can choose to waste this energy and exhaust your own to stop it. Or you can view it as an opportunity to use the energy presented to you in a beneficial way.

We can apply this same philosophy to our everyday lives. We can find value and goodness in conflicts and struggles. Don’t immediately label situations as “problems” but rather try and see how it could be an “opportunity”.

For example:

Let’s say you have an argument with a coworker.

You can label that situation as a problem because it brings unpleasant emotions to the surface and causes interpersonal conflict. Or you can label that situation as an opportunity to learn how to deal with difficult people, or an opportunity to love regardless of how you may feel.

Use the momentum of the situation presented to you to grow as a person and come out better for it.


The philosophy of Aikido can be directly applied to your life by simply:

  1. Noticing the problem
  2. Accepting the problem fully
  3. Transforming the problem

It is only through acceptance that we can truly transform a problem or an emotion in a peaceful way.

What resist persists. Keeping this truth in mind, bring a more loving and accepting attitude to your struggles in order to transform them.

Reframe your idea of problems as opportunities for growth. There is no inherent good or bad in this universe. There is just oneness that is neither good nor bad. How you frame your problems is up to you.

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