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emma.mason15
05-09-2006, 04:48 PM
as some of you may recognise my name ... I generally hang out in the humour forums causing as much chaos as possible (kinda like my aikido actually!)
but I do have a serious question!
it has come to my attention that I am in actual fact a wimp! .. im totally scared of everything! from shomen attacks .... to strangle holds ....
I feel that Im defeating myself .... my sensei is excellent teacher ... and keeps his cool ...
but even the coolest Uke gets a little narked when Tori closes their eyes and wimpers like a frightened puppy .. (EVERYTIME!)
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
all thoughts gratefully recieved
Emma xxx
(aka Dory!) :D :D :D

Dajo251
05-09-2006, 06:32 PM
best bet in my opinion, is try and relax and find and uke you trust completely......

SeiserL
05-09-2006, 08:32 PM
Compliments on your insight. You are defeating yourself.

IMHO, you defeat/scare yourself by the negative fearful fantasies you play out in your mind. Have Tori approach slowly and become aware of what thoughts you have that scare/defeat you.

The only one who defeats us is ourselves and we do it in out minds.

Ever change your mind?

Watch the columns later this month. I wrote one on creating internal resources. May be useful.

ruthmc
05-10-2006, 04:14 AM
but even the coolest Uke gets a little narked when Tori closes their eyes and wimpers like a frightened puppy .. (EVERYTIME!)
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
Yeah - say to yourself firmly "Whimpering is not an acceptable kiai in this dojo!" :D

And wear your darkest pair of shades so they can't see if your eyes are open or shut. :p

Give it time, you'll toughen up. They all do... :cool:

Ruth

DmG
05-10-2006, 06:00 AM
Once upon a time, I had a Sensei who dressed us in bogu and chased us with shinai until we stopped whimpering.....

don't laugh...watch a goalie in hockey practice sometime.....

seriously...one way to not be afraid of the attack is to not focus on it. When I trained naginata (many years ago...), we were taught to only look at our partner's eyes....that way you couldn't look at that big 8ft stick coming your way. I do the same during weapons practice...and during aikido.

Don't watch the hand coming at you, instead focus on your opening (tenkan, irimi...whatever), your center, your connection to uke. This is, in fact, one of the most valuable things you can practice (IMO).

Steve Mullen
05-10-2006, 07:21 AM
so ... any ideas on how to condition these natural reflexes outta the system ???
all thoughts gratefully recieved
Emma xxx
(aka Dory!) :D :D :D

AKA the cheif aiki siren?!

In the book of five rings Musashi Miyamoto touches briefly on the subject of reflexes.

He says something along the lines of: never try to remove the natural reflexes of the body, these are what keep us alive, instead try to focus these into something positive.

So if your body and mind tell you to move back when uki comes into attack, then do it, put technique on the end and you have got aikido. as long as there is a purpose to your movement it isn't wasted, just make sure that everything you do has a reason and meaning to it and you can't go far wrong my dear.

ALL HAIL CHIEF AIKI-SIREN *bows in reverence* :D :D

Pauliina Lievonen
05-10-2006, 07:55 AM
The thing that has helped me... not sure I can explain this very well... I often feel when I attack as uke that there is a kind of "threshold" or barrier that I have to get through to get to tori. And if I'm not aware of it, it'll get me to hesitate when I hit that barrier. It's a distance thing. Anyway, when I do stay aware of where that barrier is, I can choose to let it be there, go through it and attack.

kvaak
Pauliina

Psufencer
05-10-2006, 07:56 AM
I don't know if this will help, but it's worth a go. An old fencing master of mine taught me to smile at my opponent throughout a match. Not only would it unnerve my assailant (not the point in Aikido, I suppose) but forcing myself to smile through things that were difficult or scary made them easier to deal with...and eventually, that smile made itself pretty permanent as I realized that I was actually having fun. :)

Good luck!

Steve Mullen
05-10-2006, 08:02 AM
* thinks ''why is the person with the sword smiling at me'' *

One of my sensei told me a story of something his sensei had told him, it basically went along the lines of only be wary of the person who is sitting in the corner smiling, as they know something you don't

Nick P.
05-10-2006, 12:00 PM
An old fencing master of mine taught me to smile at my opponent throughout a match. Not only would it unnerve my assailant (not the point in Aikido, I suppose...

I dunno, sounds like the best atemi you can deliver; straight into their feeble little minds. Now just start laughing and really watch them unravel...or hum a tune, or best yet, start talking to yourself..."Did I leave the iron on this morning ?"...

Psufencer
05-10-2006, 12:17 PM
I dunno, sounds like the best atemi you can deliver; straight into their feeble little minds. Now just start laughing and really watch them unravel...or hum a tune, or best yet, start talking to yourself..."Did I leave the iron on this morning ?"...


Yeah, that was the point, when I was fencing--"I'm not tired. I'm having fun. You aren't tired, are you?" That kind of thing. But I'm still very new to Aikido and nowhere near the stage where I'm playing mind-games with people...just trying to put my feet in the right spot, at the moment! :D

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 12:18 PM
i'd say slow things down until you are working at a comfortable speed and pace. Then once you condition yourself to deal with things at this speed,then increase intensity etc.

The wonderful thing about aikido is that it can help us rewire or recondition our responses.

emma.mason15
05-10-2006, 03:48 PM
ALL HAIL CHIEF AIKI-SIREN *bows in reverence* :D :D

damned right ... just dont go to attack me .... or I might wimper loudly at you! ;)

emma.mason15
05-10-2006, 03:49 PM
Yeah - say to yourself firmly "Whimpering is not an acceptable kiai in this dojo!" :D

And wear your darkest pair of shades so they can't see if your eyes are open or shut. :p

Ruth


I LOVED this! ..... itd be like the matrix in white pjs! ..... or the local nut house ..... either way ... cool!

emma.mason15
05-10-2006, 03:52 PM
I just gotta say, ta people .... its helping having the advice to be fair .....
its just a pain in the bum .... I know im holding myself back. I sustained an injury to the left shoulder .... and I cant use this shoulder for Aikido anymore .... (was a VERY nasty fall!) but again ... twas me own fault for not tucking up enough.
but again ... Im loving the suggestions .... dont get lazy ... keep em comming!

crbateman
05-11-2006, 04:04 AM
Did you have this problem PRIOR to your shoulder injury? Just wondering... I'm rehabbing a (non-Aikido) shoulder injury myself...

Regarding your problem... I know a student who had a similar "aikiphobia" problem. She got through it in a weird, but apparently effective, manner. Someone reminded her of an old trick developed to help overcome fear of public speaking, that of visualizing one's audience in their underwear while before them. She decided that it was worth a try on the mat, and lo and behold, it worked! She says that the fear and uneasiness melted away like magic. (Of course, I don't train with her any more, because I'm not particularly fond of how I look in MY underwear... ;) )

SeiserL
05-11-2006, 07:49 AM
visualizing one's audience in their underwear while before them.
Now that is a very scarey visualization. ;-)

James Davis
05-11-2006, 10:00 AM
Emma,

Imagine that there are multiple attackers...

... and one of them has a hold of your daughter. :grr:

Then, go to work. Just don't get so caught up in your visualization that you hurt a classmate!

Dirk Hanss
05-11-2006, 10:19 AM
Damn it James,
luckily I am not her partner, when she does it the first time.

Be careful with your advice ;)

Dirk

James Davis
05-11-2006, 03:22 PM
Damn it James,
luckily I am not her partner, when she does it the first time.

Be careful with your advice ;)

Dirk
Damn it Dirk,
Just adding something to her mental tool box, Dirk. Don't run for the hills just yet. :D If Emma can't use self love as a reason to implement technique, perhaps she can utilize her love for family... ;)

billybob
05-11-2006, 03:46 PM
Emma,

Hi! Thanks for asking a question some would be afraid to ask!

Way out there idea - get a copy of the book "Waking the Tiger". It is intended to treat, by a meditative technique, post traumatic stress disorder, but I have found the meditation unlocks old 'clamp downs' around injuries, even if they happened decades ago. It is using your body to rewire it's own nervous system as mentioned above. Chi Kung can do the same thing, but the tiger book was written by and for occidentals.

dave

emma.mason15
05-12-2006, 06:21 AM
James ... thats a good idea .... but im not sure my class mates ... (or sensei would that you for that) lol
thanks to Nick, Steve and Aaron for your contributions
thanks to David for the book idea, i'll give anything a go once!
so anyone else got any other ideas?

Steve Mullen
05-12-2006, 06:53 AM
How about only training with people you know you can beat up, if ever im low on self-confidence i just go and beat cleetus up a bit, it works for me :D :D :D :D

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The author does not endorse the use of violence on lower grades evileyes

emma.mason15
05-12-2006, 06:56 AM
err steve ... i am the lowest grade!

Tim Olds
05-12-2006, 08:20 AM
Emma:

At some point in almost every aikido technique there is a point where nage/tori must "let uke in". In other words, nage/tori must receive/accept the attack in order to blend with it. My guess is that's where you are getting hung up.

Try practicing with someone you trust and going slowly, and see if you can find the exact point in the attack where you must "let uke in". Then continue working slowly thru it, to see if you can get past that point.

Of course, if that doesn't work, just give uke a quick front kick to the gut, and then apply the technique while uke is doubled over! :D

Tim

emma.mason15
05-16-2006, 07:21 PM
bless you ... but its my uke ing skills that are letting me down! ... sigh

Cleetus
05-20-2006, 06:21 PM
Emma, don't worry everyone has trouble with ukeing at some point. I still do, ask nick and steve :D. As they often say to me all it takes is time, I am sure if you put in the practise and the effort then you will progress. Some people just pick things up quicker then others but it will happen. Remember when u first started and u started taking ukemi some people picked it up after a couple of classes and others look a while longer, its the same thing some people are natual ukes some need to work on it, so don't worry, just keep training and see what happens.

And steve, beating me up eh? Aye its true :D Oh well its what i train with you for.

Leslie Leoni
05-22-2006, 01:46 PM
Hang in there Emma - you don't strike me as a timid type! Try reading Lynn's article Creating Internal Resources - it is a good place to start. Keep in mind we are all timid, scared at some point! Just use your mind to overcome the fear and practice to control your movements so they just naturally flow. (without you thinking about them!)

emma.mason15
05-22-2006, 05:02 PM
im still going. thanks for all the advise guys!

gi_grrl
05-27-2006, 10:41 PM
Surprisingly, I found that I felt less scared after I got hurt a few times. After all, it doesn't hurt forever. Now I just remind myself of that before they start attacking me.

ian
05-29-2006, 06:04 AM
Keep training. I remember a new girl years ago who was very very skinny and nervous. She used to just cover her head with her hands when attacked and crouch over. After a while she learned to stand upright and extend with her arms, as well as moving off centre line effectively. Lots of simple bokken cutting with moving off centre line (to develop confidence and power in raising your arms and quick reactions). Also, gradually get people to attack you harder and faster until you get used to the fact that you can move easily with the slightest of motions and completely avoid the attack - once you get used to that the power of the attack is irrelevant because you're not there!

Hope this helps ;)

Ian

P.S. that new girl developed into one of the most powerful aikidoka I've seen.