PDA

View Full Version : Aikido on adrenaline?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Luc X Saroufim
01-31-2007, 06:37 AM
I admit this is a strange question, but follow me here.

every once in a while in our dojo, the children attend the adult classes. i also attend the children's classes to work on the basics.

there is one child in particular who is a very motivated Aikidoka, but he's also very rough. although he's half my size, i tell him i'm afraid he's going to break my arm. i can understand using force when you feel like the little guy, but i mean this kid likes to wrestle you down most of the time. i dealt with it.

during Katatori Ikkyo, he nailed me square in the jaw with his elbow. instead of relaxing and concentrating, he was so pumped up, he just threw his arm up in the air and nailed me with the uppercut. that was a while ago.

last night i punched a fellow student in the mouth. it wasn't pretty; he was extremely polite about it, but i'm pretty sure he was bleeding otherwise he wouldn't have washed his mouth out. the reasons were similar as before: i was full of energy, ready to play rough, and all it took was one miscalculation.

what happens when you're pumped full of adrenaline during a class? are you supposed to suppress it so you can relax? i understand that relaxation is so integral, but is it possible to learn Aikido and still operate on full adrenaline?

if you can't properly connect and merge your ki with someone while on adrenaline, how are you supposed to use Aikido during a surprise attack?

Ron Tisdale
01-31-2007, 06:51 AM
Keep training, calm the mind, the body will follow.

Best,
Ron

DaveS
01-31-2007, 06:58 AM
I suspect that controlling a 'flight or fight' adrenaline rush so that you can channel the energy into something more subtle than rushing at someone and punching them or legging it is one of the (many) transferable skills you get from martial arts. I've found that a shiai bout is probably the most stressful situation I regularly get into, and if I can learn to stay calm and relaxed and focused there then I'm going to be better at staying calm and relaxed and focused in potentially more dangerous situations.

So my (lmited) experience has been that you don't so much supress the adrenaline rush as control and direct it...

Roman Kremianski
01-31-2007, 07:08 AM
I like to put all that adrenaline into ukemi and breakfalls. You don't feel any god damn pain!

crbateman
01-31-2007, 08:02 AM
Adrenaline puts octane in the gas, but it is still you who is at the wheel... Deep breath... Control...

Janet Rosen
01-31-2007, 09:34 AM
Going full tilt "fight or flight" is hopefully what we are training to NOT do. What was that (possibly apocryphal) line from OSensei: something along the lines of I do still lose my balance/go out of harmony, I just get it back faster than you notice.

Amir Krause
01-31-2007, 09:52 AM
I admit this is a strange question, but follow me here.

every once in a while in our dojo, the children attend the adult classes. i also attend the children's classes to work on the basics.

there is one child in particular who is a very motivated Aikidoka, but he's also very rough. although he's half my size, i tell him i'm afraid he's going to break my arm. i can understand using force when you feel like the little guy, but i mean this kid likes to wrestle you down most of the time. i dealt with it.

during Katatori Ikkyo, he nailed me square in the jaw with his elbow. instead of relaxing and concentrating, he was so pumped up, he just threw his arm up in the air and nailed me with the uppercut. that was a while ago.

last night i punched a fellow student in the mouth. it wasn't pretty; he was extremely polite about it, but i'm pretty sure he was bleeding otherwise he wouldn't have washed his mouth out. the reasons were similar as before: i was full of energy, ready to play rough, and all it took was one miscalculation.

what happens when you're pumped full of adrenaline during a class? are you supposed to suppress it so you can relax? i understand that relaxation is so integral, but is it possible to learn Aikido and still operate on full adrenaline?

if you can't properly connect and merge your ki with someone while on adrenaline, how are you supposed to use Aikido during a surprise attack?

At least the way we train, the responsibility always lies with both Tori and Uke, as Uke, you should guard yourself to some point, particularly with some techniques that do have a punch\elbow to the face "hidden within". Accidents do happen and the responsibility is shared.

As for doing Aikido with adrenalin. Isn't this an important essence of any Martial art: being able to act in a controlled, sensitive and intelligent way when you are under pressure and full of adrenalin ?
It might seem great to be able to perform Aikido techniques on someone grabbing your arm and cooperating with you, with no pressure. But this is just a minor technical stage, not yet fully Aikido. Truly doing Aikido is when you are under pressure, know your Uke will hit you and strongly if you misstep( a bokken\kodachi is a great stimulator) and you still have to follow the Aikido route. And I am still discussing practice on the mat, with a partner - not an enemy...
Another yet similar situation would be utilizing Aikido in an argument when you feel you are under personal pressure and may suffer from the discussion consequences (even if not in a violent manner).

Amir

L. Camejo
01-31-2007, 10:23 AM
As others have said, it is critical to learn to control the adrenaline rush instead of succumbing to it, especially in practice, since this control is an absolute necessity in an actual conflict if one is to have any sort of positive outcome.

However, adrenaline itself is usually generated when the person interprets something as being a serious threat to one's safety (it is linked to feelings of fear and serious imminent danger), if one feels confident (safe) in dealing with a situation it does not trigger since there is no need. As a result it may help you to channel it better if you can figure out what exactly about your training is generating the fear to cause you to feel endangered enough to start adrenalizing while in the dojo during practice. If this is found you can work on ways of transcending or dealing with that fear and you will find your responses to become more controlled as fear is replaced with understanding.

Another approach I have found useful is to take a deep breath or 2 while visualizing the increased energy surge moving down towards my centre and pooling there, instead of flying all over the place where I can end up unbalancing myself or losing motor control.I've found that a shiai bout is probably the most stressful situation I regularly get into, and if I can learn to stay calm and relaxed and focused there then I'm going to be better at staying calm and relaxed and focused in potentially more dangerous situations.This has also been my experience, especially in tanto randori where we imagine that the blade is real or in Bokken dori where a bad move can have serious ill effects. In fact when I was attacked once outside of the dojo it is this same practice that helped me identify the feelings of adrenalization and channel it accordingly while engaging my attackers. After it was over one of the first things that came to mind was the similar feeling to tanto randori.

Either way it is important to understand the energy surge and learn to use it instead of allowing it to cause debilitation.

Fwiw.
LC:ai::ki:

Luc X Saroufim
01-31-2007, 11:42 AM
we are talking about two types of adrenaline dumps: one where you're being attacked unexpectedly, and one inside the dojo. i am mentioning the latter.

i got some stitches in my back and was out of commission for almost two months. this is now my second week back, and i am flying out of the gates full of energy and excitement.

i knew i'd be happy to be back, what i didn't know was that my intensity skyrocketed. in hindsight, it's no surprise i punched someone mistakedly.

the thing is: can i actually calm down without losing my intensity? it seems like remaining "calm" would cause me to lower my heart rate, operate slowly, and think theoretically instead of practically. it doesn't sound too appealing to me.

aikidoc
01-31-2007, 12:16 PM
Center yourself. THe eye of the storm is always the calmist area.

Ron Tisdale
01-31-2007, 12:45 PM
the thing is: can i actually calm down without losing my intensity? it seems like remaining "calm" would cause me to lower my heart rate, operate slowly, and think theoretically instead of practically. it doesn't sound too appealing to me.

This is just my opinion...but I think perhaps you misunderstand what (for myself, anyway) is one of the major benefits of Budo.

If you can't maintain your intensity while being calm (mentally and physically)...maybe you should ask your instructor about this.

Best,
Ron

Roman Kremianski
01-31-2007, 01:34 PM
I say we move on to the more important (and fun) issue at hand: Aikido on Crystal Meph! :eek:

Erik Calderon
01-31-2007, 01:39 PM
My personal thoughts would be to try and find a fellow Aikidoka that's also on an adrenaline rush. The training will be powerful and fun!

aikido shinkikan
www.shinkikan.com

Freerefill
01-31-2007, 02:15 PM
I've experienced similar things before, being overly excited and not being in control. Fortunately the mistakes made were not terrible and no one got hurt (bumps but no bruises). I can sympathize that it's much easier said than done. Control of oneself is an horribly complex and difficult exercise. It takes almost as much, if not more, than all of aikido. But it can be done, and the results are fabulous.

My advice is to start with awareness. You're here posting about it, so you must have noticed your behavior. Hindsight is impractical, but it's a starting point. Think back to how you felt just before the incident. Focus on your feelings at that moment. Open your mind to be aware of when you're feeling the same thing. Stop what you're doing and take a few deep breaths and chant a mantra in your mind to refocus your thoughts. This isn't easy and it will take time, but it's very much worth it, even if you aren't doing aikido.

But sometimes, you just need to release it. Before my 6th kyu test, I was so nervous that I couldn't focus or sit still. So, during warmups, I did as many forward rolls from standing as I could do. By the time class started, I wanted nothing more than to just sit down for a while. What I should have done was calmed down and relaxed, asked myself why I was nervous, told myself not to be nervous, etc. But there are times when one simply can't do that. That's when we release our energy in a safe, controlled, and healthy manner.

I hope it helps, if only a little. :)

ChristianBoddum
01-31-2007, 02:15 PM
Every time i have let adrenaline get the better of me , even just a little, someone else got hurt.
It doesn't happen very often, and plan not to let it.
You are responsible for what happens to your uke !
Plus you may end up paying (literally) for your mistakes , which can be expensive !

Luc X Saroufim
01-31-2007, 02:29 PM
This is just my opinion...but I think perhaps you misunderstand what (for myself, anyway) is one of the major benefits of Budo.

for sure! i know what can be attainable and i'm not there

James Davis
01-31-2007, 03:11 PM
I had this problem, too. I pretty much had to tell myself to "Stop trying to win." Protect yourself from harm, and don't try to bop people so much. :)

Amir Krause
02-01-2007, 04:13 AM
the thing is: can i actually calm down without losing my intensity?

Yes, this is one essence of Budo, and there is no way to learn it except training a lot and finding your own way of doing it in the excat correct proportion: doing but only what should be done, not wanting too much ...


Amir

SeiserL
02-01-2007, 06:50 AM
IMHO, calm the mind, relax the body, and train with honest and genuine intent and intensity.

In a surprise attack, they (by definition) with be on the adrenaline pump/rush/dump. While you (by definition) will not. The adrenaline will come after, too late.

DonMagee
02-01-2007, 08:59 AM
When I first started bjj I was a spaz. Even though I had some minor judo training and a good deal of aikido training, I was still a spaz. Every noob I've ever met was a spaz.

Why? Because it was new, uncomfortable, and everyone else seemed to do it with ease.

My first sparing match was my first night in bjj. I was paired up with a blue belt. He looked bored. I did everything I could and he looked bored. I was gassed, my muscles wouldn't work, and he was bored. The next class I was paired with a 3 stripe white belt. He didn't look as bored, but he did dominate me. And I tapped to pressure on my throat, knee on my belly (which I was sure was the worst pain in my entire life), elbows on my face, and other pain techniques. I was still spazing out, getting adrenaline dumps, nervous, afraid, and fighting for my life every inch of the way.

Fast forward a year. Now its the other way around. I can spar for 15-20 minutes and just be tired. I don't tap to pain anymore, I'm used to it, I know how to deal with it and safely escape it. I don't spaz out, I'm actually a slow careful player (some people tell me I grapple like it's a chess match). I make small slow careful movements and then explode only when needed for sweeps and submissions. I'm almost never nervous.

Recently we had an influx of new people. They are just like I was, and I am just like that blue belt I rolled with my first night. I am in control, slightly bored, just letting them work and gas.

So I got over my adrenaline problems. The solution? Being put in a high adrenaline state over and over until its an everyday situation. Then the next time someone does it to you, its small potatoes. In fact I remember watching a program where the lead actor of the king of queens tv show was training MMA to improve his golf game. He said when you have pro athletes punching you in the face, a 3 foot putt doesn't seem so bad.

Beard of Chuck Norris
02-01-2007, 09:35 AM
Adrenaline puts octane in the gas, but it is still you who is at the wheel... Deep breath... Control...


Nice

Michael Douglas
02-01-2007, 03:07 PM
during Katatori Ikkyo, he nailed me square in the jaw with his elbow. instead of relaxing and concentrating, he was so pumped up, he just threw his arm up in the air and nailed me with the uppercut.
...
last night i punched a fellow student in the mouth. it wasn't pretty; he was extremely polite about it,

This sounds normal.
Luc you think this is too rough?
I'm absolutely sure it was much much rougher than this when Ueshiba was teaching ... Aikido isn't gentle.

Luc X Saroufim
02-01-2007, 09:43 PM
Luc you think this is too rough?.

not in a moral sense, but it's not the norm to give those kinds of strikes in my dojo. however i'm not against putting on some gear to take it to the next level (when my training ability allows me to).

eventually i'd like to train at a fierce level, but i have to learn Shikko first.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2007, 09:49 PM
So I got over my adrenaline problems. The solution? Being put in a high adrenaline state over and over until its an everyday situation. Absolutely... whatever your "art" is, if you're not used to handling adrenalin and rough situations you're not prepared. ;) (Hmmmmm.... well, I guess if you have a gun, you might be prepared. Always exceptions to every rule, including this one.)

Mike

DonMagee
02-02-2007, 05:52 AM
I've been helping start up a club at a local unviersity for bjj. We had our second class tonight. Everyone is brand new, so we are really just teaching the bare bones basics, and because we are trying to attack members we are not letting them spar for a few weeks (last semester someone broke their nose the first day).

We have a new guy with a 2nd or 3rd degree black belt in karate. He is so intense that even in pummeling drills (a drill where you and your partner practice clinching movements to setup throws, he gassed out and had to sit down. He did every movement like it was his last action on earth. I tried to explain it to him, but he was just nodding his head and then going back to being a crazy spaz. I'm sure that in time he will learn to be comfortable and relaxed in this environment.

I bring this up to point out that he has a black belt in a karate style that does do full contact sparing. I'm sure he is comfortable and relaxed there. He is used to that kind of pressure. But in a new environment he is a spaz who can't deal with the adrenaline dump. So, if it is important for you to learn how to deal with this in the long term, you need to get used to all the bad places a fight can go. Spend some time playing with wrestlers, strikers, aikdoka, judoka, on the shooting range, in the company of pretty girls, etc. It's important to be comfortable no matter where you are.

Michael Douglas
02-03-2007, 04:33 AM
... and because we are trying to attack members we are not letting them spar for a few weeks

Yes, that's a difficult situation. Scarey.

I think you'd be better off
trying to ATTRACT them instead.

DonMagee
02-03-2007, 12:08 PM
It's that combat mindset, everything is attack attack attack!

But yea, I was trying to Attract.

Amir Krause
02-04-2007, 04:00 AM
in a new environment he is a spaz who can't deal with the adrenaline dump.


I think this is the most important thing to note. If you practice a certain situation very often, your body stops dumping adrenaline at that situation, it is used to it. When you change the situation, even slightly, your body might decide it is adrenaline time once again, and you will have to face the adrenaline flow all anew.

I doubt there is any real solution to this type of problems. You could practice full contact sparring in a competition every other day, but a surprise attack would remain something new to you, create an adrenaline dump and place you at that place once again.

We should strive top learn how to ride the wave, and flow with it, since the adrenaline dump is a biological phenomena we, as people, only have limited control over. It seems to me the adrenaline dump and overcoming it, were part of the attraction the Samurai found in spiritual practice and meditation - as a way of improving byond the mere physical aspect. Not sure if it is true, does it work and can we duplicate it today.

Amir

Kevin Leavitt
02-04-2007, 09:52 AM
As others have stated, you learn to control this state through practice. You practice things over, and over, and over until they become instinctual habits that no longer have to be consciously thought about.

By doing that, you can significantly reduce the amount of information you must process and can better focus on your main target/goal.

Doing drills, practicing ingraining responses in muscle memory, and overstress training where you apply your responses..are the way to go. The more realistic you can make your environment, the better off you will be when facing the real deal.

Okami
02-04-2007, 10:31 AM
Hello Luc, your question is a very good one, as I see it alot with some other people that I practice with. They get in the moment and get ki confused with adrenaline and strength. But there is one exercise you may be able to do to help calm yourself, even when in the midst of a 'suprise attack'. Try sitting in Seiza position and close your eyes and relax, start performing breathing exercises, and about three minutes into it have somone at random and no particular time very quietly walk up to you and (this may sound crazy) hit you lightly or hard whichever you choose on the shoulder with a ruler. And when that happens try and realize how you reacted.Could you feel negative ki before the attack or after? Or both? Now to a normal person they would probably flinch and adrenaline would come to them. Try not to worry when the ruler (or whatever you use) will hit you, focus on being aware and keeping controlled breathing (which should relax you) and after awhile you shouldn't flinch as much nor should adrenaline come to you in a huge rush. Instead you will probably instantly become aware and be ready for whatever is next. I know I've watched some shows on Buddhist monks meditating in Seiza, they would sit there in the same spot for like an hour and someone would walk up behind them and hit them with a ruler to make sure they weren't asleep. But if you look closely they don't move an inch, it's truley amazing. But I just thought that might be an excercise you could try and other people who might have that problem and it's just overall good practice.