When I’m “Off the mat,” commentary can (should) be used the same way as technique as far as I’m concerned. Here is a small example:
An interesting situation came about as I was in the locker room at the local YMCA. My senior student and I had just finished working out and we were holding an animated conversation on the problems of some students in the dojo. The discussion went like this: “While few students’ listening skills are lacking, some require the development of proper decorum in dealing with people’s feelings or the lack of natural abilities. Students of lower rank ocassionally demonstrate greater motor control and in the process intimidate some higher ranked students. (I’m talking about under black belt students who have trained longer than the ones with higher motor skills) This may happen in a dojo more often than most people think.” The discussion centered on how to reach negative thinking minds. Teaching attitudinal resolutions or how to get one person pass another’s ego problem was what we were talking about.
A gentleman at a locker close to us stated that it sounded as though we were discussing “corporate America.” In one sense we were. Life’s solutions always cross boundries. In other words, life cannot be segmented. The principles are universal and apply everywhere. While some situations need or call for specific answers, basically, how you operate in one venue is the way you operate in all avenues of your existence. We caught this man’s attention because universal principle states that “everything affects everything else” and we were just applying mental Aikido principles.
This is how I practice Aikido in everyday life; “off the mat.”