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David Orange
08-02-2006, 08:10 PM
I mentioned awhile back that I had developed a theory that aiki techniques were derived by observing children as they tried to escape from their parents. Now I have some video of my 21-month-old son doing root aikido.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=Pyx8jv6TNN0&mode=related&search=aikido%20baby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Yxs0U5QoFI&NR

Of course I am cooperating with him in these "techniques" but the root movement in each example is his. And truthfully, I'm not cooperating any more with him than I have been asked to cooperate in many aikido schools I've visited.

Comments welcome.

David
Best wishes.

aikigirl10
08-02-2006, 08:15 PM
That's awesome.

xuzen
08-02-2006, 09:37 PM
The Ki is strong with this one...

David, you have a wonderful kid. When mine is able to walk, I will surely also play cooperative aikido with him/her as well. :D

Boon.

dps
08-02-2006, 09:40 PM
I liked the way he brushed his hands after he dipatched rascally dad. :)

Don_Modesto
08-02-2006, 10:53 PM
....truthfully, I'm not cooperating any more with him than I have been asked to cooperate in many aikido schools I've visited. LOL!

I'm guessing you didn't post this for people to tell you how cute the kid is...

Point taken. LOL!

David Orange
08-02-2006, 11:01 PM
Thanks, all! That little man really lights up my life. And my aim is to cultivate in him what I see as the root of aiki in toddlers' natural responses. And I mean that it's natural to all children. I first got the idea from his older sister when she was about that same age, about 12 years ago, in Japan.

Here's a link to the blog on aikidojournal:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8827

Stanley's folks illustrated it with the perfect photo, too!

Boon, I often enjoy your posts. I hope you'll take the time to notice all the "little" things your child does as he develops the ability to walk. That's when you can see the deepest roots of aiki developing naturally in every child.

David, I left the hand-brushing part in to show how natural all that is. And then he stands and looks at his mother with something like nobility. He's a great little guy. And aikido is a great art, which has deeply enhanced my life. I hope it will enhance his life even more. And I hope that by sharing these things, it can enhance the lives of everyone who trains in it.

Best wishes!

David

David Orange
08-03-2006, 03:27 PM
LOL!

I'm guessing you didn't post this for people to tell you how cute the kid is...

Point taken. LOL!

No, of course not! (Lying).

Actually, I'm surprised, watching the video, at how tiny he looks. He's really a handful.

A lot of my purpose in posting these vids is to document what I said in the blog. Aikido does not come from the flailing of children already embroiled in conflict, but in the casual, unbothered way they brush you off when they just don't want to be bothered.

This is really clear in the first clip, where he does a yonkyo about as nicely as I've seen it done--at least the entry. Then he ends up following me around instead of making me follow him, but he still has some lead going. I have seen MUCH worse from adults trying to do that. The problem, in my opinion, is that the techniques are VERY close to natural human responses, but we are socialized and educated very FAR from our own nature. My point, if anything, is that to get closer to real aikido, we must return to our own true nature. As Mochizuki Sensei always said, "Truth can only be built on truth." And babies are nothing but true.

Also, when people dis the idea, I wonder what they think "natural movement" means?

"Well, it means an abstractly derived approximation, formulated from examples of natural movement."

No. I think it absolutely means NATURAL HUMAN MOVEMENT.

One thing I get a big kick out of is how children use their WHOLE bodies for anything they want to do. Once I was trying to lift my son up on the bed when he didn't want to go. He flexed his feet and caught the edge of the mattress with the tops of his feet and I could not drag him past the edge. The mattress was coming up, but he didn't give up. I let him back down and tried to lift him over the edge, but his feet caught the edge again and I could not get him past it. He did this about five times in a row, crying and not paying the least attention to his feet. Adults would have to divert their awareness separately to the feet (in most adults), but for a baby the whole mind is the whole body is the whole being. Put him down and he's happy as a lark and pads off on his own business again.

Another thing, when he was just weeks old, I would be carrying him out a doorway and he would reach out and grab the door and I would have to work to get him through that door. He had such I grip I always called him Mr. Grip. And I always remember that Zen saying: "Have a mind like a baby's grip." When it grasps, it grasps for good, but when it releases, you can't make it grip again.

I'm incredibly proud of Ken, but my real belief is that ALL children are like this unless they have been traumatized pretty badly.

Thanks for the comments.

David

Karen Wolek
08-03-2006, 03:33 PM
And boy oh boy, do babies know how to drop their center!

xuzen
08-04-2006, 11:37 PM
...<snip>...Aikido does not come from the flailing of children already embroiled in conflict, but in the casual, unbothered way they brush you off when they just don't want to be bothered. David
David,

I am not sure if aikido is as you described... but I would like my aikido to be as you described.

It is my desire that someday I can in a nonchalantly, casually, unbothered, unhindered, unfettered manner; brush aside my enemies and inner demons and walk the peaceful, uncomplicated and middle path/way.

It is something I look forward in my aiki journey.

Boon.

kocakb
08-05-2006, 12:33 AM
he is better than you, great warrior, no doubt :)
and so cute...

dps
08-05-2006, 06:32 AM
It is my desire that someday I can in a nonchalantly, casually, unbothered, unhindered, unfettered manner; brush aside my enemies and inner demons and walk the peaceful, uncomplicated and middle path/way. Like a 21 month old child. :)

David Orange
08-05-2006, 10:58 AM
he is better than you, great warrior, no doubt :)
and so cute...

Is that why Morihei said that budo is love?

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-05-2006, 11:00 AM
David,

I am not sure if aikido is as you described... but I would like my aikido to be as you described.

It is my desire that someday I can in a nonchalantly, casually, unbothered, unhindered, unfettered manner; brush aside my enemies and inner demons and walk the peaceful, uncomplicated and middle path/way.

It is something I look forward in my aiki journey.

Boon.

Someone on another board said that aikido is not about regressing, but I don't think that is regression. "Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."

If we don't meet before, I'll hope to see you there.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
08-06-2006, 09:22 PM
I just read an interesting interview on Aikido Journal with Mitsugi Saotome Sensei:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=2222

He says, "The reason it is difficult to spread the martial arts in America is...the people who colonized America already had guns. They never fought with spears or swords."

Now, how does this relate to the Baby Aikido thread?

I think that, because Americans began their fighting experience with guns instead of swords and spears, we tend to believe that the martial arts are "technologies" that had to be "invented," like firearms, outside human nature, then imported to human beings.

And instead, I believe martial arts express a natural part of our humanity that can be seen in EVERY child by the time the child learns to stand and walk.

Well, every normally-developing child, with proper bone and nerve growth, who has not been severely traumatized or inhibited through psychological pressures. A normal, happy child will show the roots of aikido and every other art as soon as he can stand and walk.

Thanks to you all!

David

xuzen
08-06-2006, 10:39 PM
He says, "The reason it is difficult to spread the martial arts in America is...the people who colonized America already had guns. They never fought with spears or swords."
Some corrections are warranted David. Americans did fought with spears. Buffolo/Bison hunting uses spear. I am sure when the mohawks vs other tribes, they did used spear and other edged weapons. :D

Well, every normally-developing child, with proper bone and nerve growth, who has not been severely traumatized or inhibited through psychological pressures. A normal, happy child will show the roots of aikido and every other art as soon as he can stand and walk.
IIRC, O'sensei did say aikido should be as natural as walking. IMO, Aikido movement/technique ideally should be natural, unhindered, unforced, uncomplicated, minimalist and yet effective. David, you have brought something to my attention. From now on, I will watch closely how an innocent young child moves and see its relation with aiki.

Boon.

dps
08-06-2006, 10:43 PM
From now on, I will watch closely how an innocent young child moves and see its relation with aiki.If you see any decent ukemi from a young child just learning to walk, let me know, I want to take lessons from her/him. :)

Selnith
08-07-2006, 06:53 AM
That is one very cute and very talented kid

:ai::ki::do:

RoyK
08-17-2006, 03:26 PM
Hey David, I read your article on AikiJournal (and about half the comments). I like your idea, it'll give my brain allot to digest in the near future. Next time my 3 years old cousin comes to visit I'll be sure to observe his movements.

By the way, amazingly cute kid you got there. He must've inherited that from his mom :D (joke)