It has been a long time since I’ve actively trained with the Seidokan Aikido organization. Fortunately, I’ve kept many of the lessons. That training has helped all that I’ve done since.

The focus on practicing the principles was a big change. The kicking/striking art had focused on application of technique for fighting but talked little about principles. Being given words to explain them and other concepts was awesome.

Many (all?) of these principles and concepts are part of all martial arts. The difference is just the words used. How long it takes to recognize this is based on how much you still want to learn. The principle of Control the First Move is one of these. It has taken me a while to make a connection.

When I first learned about Control the First Move, it was described as doing something to place yourself in an advantageous position to respond to physical action. I did get that it applied also to things like where you say in a conference room during a business meeting. It affected how you were viewed and interacted with. This could be repeated several times leading into a physical conflict. This can be seen in the movement of boxers.

Now, all these years later, I learn about the OODA loop. Military people have known about this concept since the 1950’s. It has been applied to personal protection over the past decade or so. When you really look at it, Control the First Move is the OODA loop. Every time a movement happens, there is a new First Move. The recognition of this is the O(bserve) and O(rient) parts of the OODA loop.

Everything depends upon how fast observe and orient happen when you’re dealing with a situation. The longer it takes, the less likely there will be a successful outcome. The OODA loop looks directly at this. Control the First Move often views these changes as a new opportunity to create harmony. Both may end the same way but…

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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