Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification

Facebook Live Replay w/ Miles Kessler

I recently did a Facebook Live broadcast as part of my teaching series on “Aikido & The Evolution Of Response”. This facebook live segment was a supplement teaching to my previous blog post on “Aikido & The Survival Instinct.” In that video, I mentioned several practices for working with, overcoming, and integrating your basic fight, flight, freeze instinct. In this 2nd video in the series I lay out one of the key fulcrum practices at this stage – none other than “Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification.”

Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification

In this teaching of “Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification,” we look at a famous Standford University from the 60’s experiment called “The Marshmallow Test” that showed the substantial life benefits of practicing delayed gratification.

Young children were sat at a table with 1 marshmallow in front of them. They were told that if they don’t eat the marshmallow now, then later they will get 2 marshmallows. Then they were left alone in the room with the marshmallow, and the internal struggle of whether to eat it now or delay gratification for a later reward. Some went for the instant gratification, while others were able to delay gratification.

When the researchers followed up on the lives of these children for several decades afterward, what they discovered was that the children who were able to delay gratification had significantly better life outcomes than the children who were unable to delay their gratification.

In other words, delayed gratification is GOOD. And as it turns out, it is also crucial to your evolution in Aikido. Especially when your fight, flight, freeze reactions are triggered. Therefore, we need to ask the obvious question; “what exactly is the gratification that we are delaying”?

Each of the “fight, flight, freeze” reactions has a certain kind of gratification:

  • The FIGHT instinct gets its gratification in control
  • The FLIGHT instinct gets its gratification in escape
  • The FREEZE instinct gets its gratification in the disappearance of fear (spacing out)

This is where knowing your FFF type can be very helpful. Because:

  • If you’re a “fight type” then having a clear intention to delay the need for control will activate your development
  • If you’re a “flight type” then having a clear intention to delay the need for escape will activate your development
  • If you’re a “freeze type” then having a clear intention to delay the need for the disappearance of fear (spacing out, etc)  will activate your development

When you practice delaying the urge to 1) control 2) escape, or 3) space out it will indeed make you more uncomfortable. But at the same time, this is the exact practice that will activate your development on the path of the evolution of response.

As always I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Just leave your comments below the video.


Question: How does “delayed gratification” appear in your Aikido practice? Watch the above video replay then join the conversation by leaving your comments below!

To help you go a bit deeper into this teaching on “Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification” I’ve created a gift for you! Click the link below to get your free PDF reference guide and worksheet on ‘Transforming The Fight, Flight, Freeze Instinct”. Just CLICK THE BOX BELOW!

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