View Full Version : Is there such a thing as a natural?

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Steve Mullen
10-07-2006, 05:12 PM
Okay, I train with someone who is (IMHO) one of the 5-10 people i have met/trained with who just seem like aikido was invented for them, they get everything really quickly, and understand why it works, and why we do it the way we do. Their movements seem as natural as walking does but they always look like there is something more that they could give.

More than that, if something doens't work for them, they just seem to be able to make subtle changes to make it work perfectly. Not this may not seem like much, but when you consider that this person is not yet a shodan i think its a pretty good start.

I dont want it to seem like im trying to take anything away from how difficult they train, htey are always the first to get up for anything, and push themselves to the absolute edge every single time they step on the matt.

So my question is this, do you think that there are certian people who are just naturals to Aikido, and not just because of body type, but because of that hidden something that makes an Aikidoka something special?

p.s. im not telling their name as it would embarres them, and make me look like a crawler.....and its not really important to the conversation. :D

Mark Uttech
10-07-2006, 07:54 PM
Buddhism has a good answer for this: There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Everyone has a hard time with one of the three. That is why some people stay and some go away. Using this type of thinking, we can say that 'easy' and 'hard' are there for everyone; just at different times. This has been my experience, so I am passing these thought on.
In gassho,

Jory Boling
10-07-2006, 08:06 PM
i think there are naturals. however, i think if i asked them, they'd say "no way!" they do tend to train all the time but they also seem to have a certain way about them that you've described.

10-07-2006, 10:41 PM
I'm sure that there are those whose body mechanics, balance and mental makeup make Aikido easier for them, but I have found that more often things seem to come naturally to certain people because they train hard and often.

10-08-2006, 01:51 AM
Movement always came natural to me.

My background before i came to aikido was gymnastics. When I was young, I was talented and lazy. I never had to try hard when training in the gym because most of the time I could get by on raw talent, and believe me I did, it took me to first place in state championships in washington 1997.

It wasn't untill I got older that I began to realize just how lucky I was. You wouldn't believe it, but there are people who cannot coordinate themselves to jump with two feet at the same time while bouncing on a trampoline.

I never had patience for the 'retards' that couldn't grasp simple movements that I can simply watch and replicate the first time. This made me impatient when my sensei started having me teach classes and I would be struggling to verbalize a concept that I only understood kineticaly.

I was always gifted physically, but mentally was where I was lacking when it came to technique. I mean, I understood everything I was doing. But I had no idea how to communicate it to someone who doesn't have the kind of physical awareness that I was lucky enough to get. This resulted in alot of my explainations being "It goes like this"

My job is now to teach gymnastics to little kids. It's forced me to really really focus on what my body is doing instead of mindlessly demonstrating steps that are as easy as walking for me (hence, the mindlessness)

What I have noticed though, is that those who struggle more with learning technique have often been a lot more precise and less 'sloppy' than myself during the execution.

I'm not sure where I was going with this. It's been a topic that i've had to think about a lot though and continues to fascinate me.

Are there any doctors or neurologists out there that could give any information on what makes some people more gifted kineticly?

10-08-2006, 05:20 AM
i have often seen gifted people walk through the door and seen them leave just as quick as they didn't stay around to wait for there challenge what ever that might be, sometimes having everything on a plate isn't the best answer.

Mary Eastland
10-08-2006, 07:13 AM
I think Aikido comes naturally for some people,,,,and that everyone finds something that is challenging for them in Aikido.

10-08-2006, 07:21 AM
what about O-Sensei? :) :)

10-08-2006, 07:22 AM
... or Robert Redford? :D

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-08-2006, 08:22 AM
If a gifted person gets on the mat and notices that all the other people aren't getting what for him is "natural", then clearly this stuff is not being taught in an approachable and repeatable manner by the teacher. And there really is no point in staying. Better to go and find something that not only provides challange in doing, but challenge in the other people involved in the process. This may mean only going as far as another dojo (where another "natural" might be available) or finding such partners in a completely different eandeavour. Most people don't want to waste their time too much, and the mroe talented someone is, presumably the less they want to waste theirs.

Michael Douglas
10-08-2006, 10:21 AM
... or Robert Redford? :D

Ba-dam Ba!!


I think there are 'naturals', and there are klutzes.
Most top-level competitors were naturals before they started to train seriously.
I believe you need both natural aptitude and hard training to reach a high level in anything.

An important point to note is that if something comes easily to you or you learn it easily then it can be more enjoyable and that encourages you to train more.

Uyeshiba was of course a 'natural', but also keen as mustard and a training obsessive.

Adam Huss
10-08-2006, 11:55 AM
I dont want it to seem like im trying to take anything away from how difficult they train, htey are always the first to get up for anything, and push themselves to the absolute edge every single time they step on the matt.

-I think you answered your own question here.

-But also to reply to another post, the one relating to Bushism, there are many folks who kind of plateu at some point in their training. Some people start off slowly, work really hard, and become proficient technicians later on.

-I guess when it comes down to it, learning aikido is just like learning anything else.

10-08-2006, 12:19 PM
I think Thomas Edison said it best...
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration".

Or was it 99% atemi? I forget...

10-08-2006, 12:23 PM
But also to reply to another post, the one relating to Bushism, ..."Bushism"?? Your Freudian slip is showing... :D

Adam Huss
10-08-2006, 01:04 PM
Hahaha, woops.

10-08-2006, 01:50 PM
theres certainly talent....
Some "naturals" are people who have already leaned how to learn and have a good body feel from other things. or who have a learning style that fits the teaching style. The rest of us to learn this first. Some just care more...

One kid I taught almost certainly did aikido in a past life but she was a beautiful freak :-)


Mark U - sweet post thanks.