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Mike Hamer
07-07-2006, 01:42 AM
Today while practicing I got very upset at myself for my lack of being able to do it right, my Uke was younger than me, but I was the one "making a fool of myself" by fumbling around the technique. I know the priciples of leaving your ego behind, but actually doing that is hard. At the end of each class, sensei gives a small lecture on varying aikido topics. Today he told a story, of his training in Japan. It was like he read my mind, he talked about being discouraged and letting your ego's need to appear succesful take over, and forgetting to relax. This is something I will have to train myself in.


Thoughts, advice, questions?

Laurel Seacord
07-07-2006, 07:11 AM
I try to accept that feeling as a desire to do it right and do it well, to change my bad habits and learn something new. I try to accept that feeling as another incentive to practice harder.

Sometimes you find us women crying in the dressing room out of frustration at our own inability. :do:

Trish Greene
07-07-2006, 08:49 AM
MIkel and Laurel!

Wow! I was just going through these same scenario's Wednesday night. I work out with a younger Uke and she was having no problem with the technique and I couldn't get it correct at all. There were a few times that night where I actually had to step off the mat until I could get my frustration under control. Hopefully with tonights session I will be able to rethink the technique and not get so frustrated at myself.

Demetrio Cereijo
07-07-2006, 08:57 AM
There are good days and bad days, deal (harmonize) with them. It's life.

dps
07-07-2006, 09:09 AM
MIkel and Laurel!

Wow! I was just going through these same scenario's Wednesday night. I work out with a younger Uke and she was having no problem with the technique and I couldn't get it correct at all. There were a few times that night where I actually had to step off the mat until I could get my frustration under control. Hopefully with tonights session I will be able to rethink the technique and not get so frustrated at myself.
I was in a similar situation Thursday night except the younger Uke was my 16 year old son. :)

justin
07-07-2006, 09:26 AM
i think every single person who ever steps onto a mat comes across this at some point or other, one small point is your not alone your partner will have his or hers problems to overcome be it that technique or another

Mark Freeman
07-07-2006, 09:46 AM
Mikel, welcome to the world of aikido :D

It's not the easiest path to walk, but the rewards are worth the effort.

Discouragement and frustration are part and parcel of the journey, it means you are getting somewhere, it may not feel like it at the time, but ask anyone who has been doing it for any length of time and they all have their own similar stories.

One day in the future you will be in the position where you are encouraging a new person to the art to 'keep at it' and 'this is normal, relax, stay focussed and positive'. You will even use your own difficulties in the beginning to illustrate your point.

regards

Mark

Jorge Garcia
07-07-2006, 10:00 AM
When I started in 1995, I was nothing but discouraged. I couldn't do anything right, after 3 months, I still couldn't roll and everything was hurting me. It was so bad, the senior students had a betting pool going as to how long I was going to last or said another way, the bets were on what day I would quit.That was 11 years ago this August first. I can't imagine how different my life would have been if I had quit. The betting pool money had to be returned because I never did quit. As far as I know, there are only 5 students still practicing Aikido from a group of hundreds and hundreds of students that went through that dojo. I was the first one to get a black belt from all the students that were ever in that dojo including all my seniors that were brown belts the day I walked in for the first time. My story is a lesson in perseverance. What I have come to after all these years was beyond my wildest dreams and when I think about it, I can hardly believe it.
Today, I am Sensei over three dojos. I teach over 50 hours a month, I am well paid for my efforts and I am one of the leaders of a small Aikido Association. I have been honored to know and have a Sensei who was a student of O Sensei who stays at my house about 20 days a year and tells me lots of stories about the old days. Apart from all that, I am having the time of my life!
I have also been privileged to have trained and met some of the finest people on earth.
The lesson is, don't quit and look beyond your discouragements to a great future in the art. If you push yourself past all discouragement and explore all the potential within you, you never know what amazing and wonderful things will happen to you because of it.
Best wishes always,

gdandscompserv
07-07-2006, 10:10 AM
frustration is definitely part of learning Aikido.
so many things to learn, such a short time to learn them in.

Lucy Smith
07-07-2006, 01:57 PM
Jorge, you have definitely become my hero. I hope some day I'll have half of what you have. Your post was very inspiring.
Now, in response to Mikel's thread: making a fool of yourself? You are learning, you are not making a fool of yourself. Even if you were experienced no one would make fun of you, you are allowed to have mistakes!! And about your uke being younger than you... my sempai are all younger than me, and by this I mean from 9 to 13 years old (and I'm 17). I'm always asking them for advice and they give it without making fun of me. I laugh about my mistakes, but they don't. They only laugh about not Aikido related stuff, or maybe a joke by Sensei, but they never laugh at me. I find this relationships one of Aikido's best qualities; age doesn't matter. If a nine year old is a 4th kyu, and a 17 year old is a 6th kyu, then it will be the 4th kyu helping the 6th kyu.
I've always found the saying "children should be seen and not heard" outrageous. So lets give them credit at least in one place.
The Dojo is the place were children are heard.

Best,
Lucy.

Jorge Garcia
07-07-2006, 02:30 PM
Jorge, you have definitely become my hero. I hope some day I'll have half of what you have. Your post was very inspiring.

Thanks Lucy, that was nice of you to say. I still remember back in our small dojo in Corpus Christi, Texas, I would read the Aikido Today magazine and the Aikido Journal magazine and I would see all the stories and articles about the great Seminars with Yamada Sensei, Tamura Sensei, Chiba Sensei and so many others. I would read the stories of those who had trained with the Founder and I dreamed of the secrets those people were learning. I felt so small, hopeless and sorrowful that I had been born in a Texas town instead of in Japan, or some big city where a student of O Sensei lived. I never believed that in this life, I would ever get even close to what I read. When we moved to Houston on a job transfer, the situation was bleak because the dojos were small and far apart and Aikido was weak here. It was after we had been here about 6 months that a new dojo opened whose teacher had moved here from Japan. The dojo was 18 miles from my house and it took me an hour and a half in Houston traffic to get there. On a good day, I could make it in a hour.
When I first called the dojo for information, I found out that the teacher of the dojo was not with an American group. When I asked him why and he said,"Because my teacher from Japan will come here and test all my students." Sure enough, a few weeks later, I was at the first seminar and I got to meet Hiroshi Kato Shihan, a man who was a member of the Aikikai Hombu dojo for 50 years and had trained under O Sensei for 16 years and his son for 30 years. I had enough sense to switch dojos and the rest is history. I suffered a lot in that dojo (for other reasons) but after 5 years of training there, I struck out on my own and Kato Shihan agreed to support me and things have been wonderful since. Everything I used to dream about years before has happened to me and I am so grateful. It was never giving up, pushing past all the abuse and discouragements that were heaped on me by some unkind people and even a few untruths said about me that hurt me a lot. The ones who should have been grateful were instead hateful but I pushed past all that. I launched out and spent a lot of money and I took a chance. All my efforts have been rewarded beyond my wildest dreams. I am especially grateful to Hiroshi Kato Sensei for believing in me when someone was trying to convince him not to. He knew me from my heart and unlike many of my old friends, he trusted what his heart told him instead of what liars said. It is because of that trust that we know have three dojos with over 75 students, an Association in Texas with 9 dojos and many generous and wonderful people practicing Aikido in a spirit of harmony and love. None of this was easy but it was perseverance, the grace of God and the trust of an wonderful elderly man that did it.
Again, thanks for your comments and best wishes,
Your friend,

Lucy Smith
07-07-2006, 03:48 PM
My God, your life was hard. I would feel so stupid if I ever think or quiting now. Thank you. We all need people like you to inspire us. Sometimes it gets difficult for beginners, but nothing like what you've been through.
You can now count yourself as one of the most important in my top list of inspirers, heroes and role models in Aikido.

Your admirer,
Lucy.

rottunpunk
07-07-2006, 04:12 PM
im going through that at the moment. in both iai and aiki. i dont feel im improving, and that im just wasting my teachers time, and even though i fully comprehend what they are telling me, making my body do it is a completely different matter. but i went though it in my old aiki club and broke through in a couple of months. so i have to go through it again at this club i guess.

just stick with it, itll come eventually. also my iai instructor told me, that you dont ever notice improvement until one day something clicks. if you convince yourself you are crap when your actually not, and then you quit-thats where the waste occures.

me? i know im crap. i am at everything so i aim to be as less crap as possible in all i do.

good luck
:p

Janet Rosen
07-07-2006, 04:25 PM
One of my instructors sometimes talks at the start of class about a voice in your head that watches, frowns, criticises, etc. And he suggests that we in a friendly way send that voice away on a sea cruise for the duration of the class. He also regularly in all his classes calls up practice pairs to demo in front of us after we've all trained for a while. So if he has had us send the nag packing, he notes when nage seems to have not sent the voice far enough away and asks to try again. It is good to watch people relax and enjoy the process!

Mike Hamer
07-07-2006, 06:32 PM
Wow you guys, thanks for the support....really. Aikiweb really is a great place for Aikidoka all around the world. Im not going to give up, my ego must be shed. I never want to leave Aikido.