Self Defense: ‘The Mats Don’t Lie’

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Steve Weber

By Steve Weber

Special to the Nugget

The practice of Aikido does not require a commitment to “blind repetition” and stunted training methods. On the contrary, the practice of Aikido is a creative process that demands a focused mind, emotional maturity, and constant physical review so that the quality of training meets the goal of exceeding personal expectations. Isn’t that what one would want? So, what do we mean when we say that the “mats don’t lie”?

It is not uncommon for people to embellish their strengths and diminish their weaknesses. In fact, this can be a positive feature in certain aspects of self-defense. However, training in a martial arts setting may be compared to working under a magnifying glass – the “mats” being the glass! They have no feelings; they can’t be reasoned with or deceived. They are a tool and only exist to offer some measure of protection. But they magnify any flaw in one’s training and the beauty of that is “that a flaw is only corrected by being revealed”. The “mats” allow for no self-deception.

Mistakes are obvious and can’t be denied. One can avoid a hard look at oneself for just so long, and then the reality of your character shows its true self. Self-examination may not “be mandatory, but it will be unavoidable”. It will require you to ask yourself the following questions: When will I stop doubting myself? Why do I allow fear to govern my emotions? Why do I resist change? When will I take an active part in correcting my negative thinking? How can I use my mind to control my body? How can I develop positive visualization techniques? When will I no longer make excuses for failing to achieve my goals? When will I accept responsibility for my own success or failure? When will I cease putting up self-destructive barriers that hinder my progress? When will I embrace the challenges placed before me? “The Mats Don’t Lie”!

Mr. Weber is the chief instructor at the Aikido Academy of Self-Defense located at 16134 North Oracle Road, in Catalina. He has more than 45 years of experience in the Martial Arts and has achieved skills in a variety of disciplines. He also teaches Tai-Chi on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.

Please call (520) 825-8500 for information regarding these and other programs. If you wish, check out the website at

Staff (2524 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.

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