View Full Version : Poll: Is understanding human psychology helpful for you in learning aikido?
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02-11-2007, 01:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 11, 2007:
Is understanding human psychology helpful for you in learning aikido?
I don't do aikido
Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=363).
02-11-2007, 09:12 AM
I answered yes, but 'understanding human psychology' is a tall order. Sometimes I am a bafflement to myself. (bafflement - southern for confusing situation)
Frequently others are trying to understand where I am coming from. I have a better time understanding the rhythms of nature, and I find that animals are a lot more consistent (trustworthy?) than human beings. By 'rhythms of nature' I mean the seasons, weather, and how a person rocks back a little on their heels before they strike.
I understand the facial expressions of aggression, but sometimes I can't tell when someone is just kidding around. I am wonderfully tuned to know 'threat or not threat' in all I meet, but sometimes I don't ease up at parties.
It's getting better - Sensei says I can fit into the group now if I choose to.......but how do you do that?
02-11-2007, 02:28 PM
Absolutely. I began with a little, Aikido gave me a little. I understood a little more, Aikido gave me a little more. My limit in understanding Aikido is limited by my understanding of people and myself.
02-11-2007, 08:08 PM
Understanding others-self, helpful.
Understanding my-self, helpful.
Understanding how my-self relates to others-self, priceless.
Hmm, I would be more specific. I think aikido utilises psychological responses to achieve self-defence aims. For example, presenting a target to attack, 'framing' with the hands, spiral motions, leading, yin/yang (bringing down then a reversal), non-resistance (preventing kinetic feed-back), non-aggressive attitude and posture, atemi, unbalancing (so that uke focuses on this rather than attack) etc...
I answered yes, however I don't think it's useful to understand human psychology mentally, but I think there are many elements of aikido practise which incorporate the exploitation of human psychology, and could be explained in this way, though the practise and ability to carry these 'tricks' out is better than knowing the information!
02-14-2007, 11:08 AM
Ronjon said My limit in understanding Aikido is limited by my understanding of people and myself.
With this formula one can proceed to 'take aikido with' when walking out of the dojo.
"Know Thyself" - Socrates
"Be respectful" - Sensei
"Train hard" - Sempai
It's that second one that stymies me!
02-15-2007, 01:36 PM
Interesting poll Jun, I’ve been asking this to myself the last couple of weeks because of certain circumstances that has come about:
Why does there seem to be more of a correlation between Aikido and Psychology than in other martial arts?
My wife is getting her Master’s degree in spiritual psychology and if you’ve ever taken a Psychology 101 (like I did) in college, you’d remember the obscene reading assignments that this discipline dives into, let alone a Master’s.
I just saw the reading materials that they are working with for her second term, one book is authored by George Leonard, and the other by Jack Kornfield (participant in an upcoming seminar in the Bay Area). Upon further research, I came across Robert Frager, the founding President of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (a student of O’sensei).
And of course, two of the esteemed contributors here, Lynn Seiser and Ellis Amdur have extensive backgrounds in it.
The obvious answer is the philosophy behind Aikido maybe the draw, I’m just curious if there is anything else that draws individuals with psychology backgrounds into Aikido….or is it the other way around?
02-15-2007, 01:49 PM
I'm just curious if there is anything else that draws individuals with psychology backgrounds into Aikido….or is it the other way around?
IMHO, one leads to the other. Both deal with a world in conflict, confusions, and chaos and our attempts to find some means of compassionate and mindful communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution.
Aikido is one of the few conflict-resolution models that does not simply offer more of the same (force and resistance). Einstein said that the type of thinking that creates a problem is never the type of thinking that solves it.
Psychology in the Dojo, or Aikido in the world. Same.
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