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fear and the boss

Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido Gozo Shioda was so skilled he did not need to hurt people to make his aikido work. His top students understood this and flocked to him to learn. But those who studied under the top students were less perceptive. And since the top students sometimes hurt the junior students and did more obviously ‘powerful’ moves, there arose among the students a kind of whispered consensus that Shioda had been overtaken by his students. They whispered he wasn’t so good anymore.

Shioda understood what was happening. So he started hurting people again, as he had done before he was any good at aikido.

Respect came back from the unperceptive students, who were the majority. They said Shioda was again at the top of his form. Only the best knew, however, that this was actually a retrograde step, in a way, made necessary only by their ignorance.

Shioda made a choice: when you run a school you have to make a show too. People behave like children: you have to scare them a little – but only if you want to be the boss.



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