View Full Version : Alone time, good or bad?
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12-08-2007, 05:56 AM
Do you find your selfs alone sometimes when you're attending aikido seminars? especially when a lot of people are unfamiliar to you? Most of the they will chat with their friends and it's kinda weird to budge in. you may know 3 or 2 ppl, but it will fade away since there are a lot of ppl and u can't speak with them 100% of the time (break time, 20mins)
its not that not meeting them will change the world, its just, if u don't put energy and try to 'budge in' (which i don't like, especially in small groups) u won't get far, but than you'll remain alone walking on the tatami..
I must say that, during pause session, talking about aikido is not something i would do or wanna do, since aikido is a path u must find your self.
what most of them time ur doing,
a. walking on the tatami wondering around
b. budging in?
12-08-2007, 07:16 AM
Yes, as a regular attendee at seminars I have often found myself alone on the mat and during breaks. I find I have to take the initiative to enter and blend with them and not wait for them to come to me. Its sorta how I do my Aikido too. I find that talking about Aikido with others is an activity that helps me find it within myself much faster that if i tried to figure it all out by myself. That's why forums like this are so helpful.
If we find our selves at a seminar, let's meet and laugh about this.
Most seminars I've been to in Israel were organized by some dojo so most of the attendees were practice mates and I was one of the few outsiders, so I'm guessing you've had the same experience. Yes, I relate to the stupid feeling of being an outsider but I'm more annoyed when people seek to train with dan grades and not kyu grades.
On the other hand, I totally don't relate to your notion of avoiding Aikido discussions. It's not a path you find yourself from the moment you have a teacher that shows you his/her path, is what I think. If it's such a solitary path, why attend seminars? Why participate on internet forums?
12-08-2007, 07:04 PM
Lucky for me the few nationals I have attended I have always been with club mates, but if I ever attended one without knowing anyone I would hope that was either someone friendly enough to give me a nudge to go mingle or I would hope to find another person there who did not know that many people to talk to.
And if I do see a person who does look unfamiliar and wandering around I certainly hope I would be the friendly person who would wander over and say Hi.
12-08-2007, 10:09 PM
I have found that a warm smile, a ready handshake, and a pleasant attitude are usually all it takes to receive a similar response. Some of the finest people I know, I have met in exactly this way at seminars. And I have also found that, after training around for a while, you begin to run into people everywhere that you have met before, who are eager to train with you again, and share the happenings that have occurred since you last saw each other. It's actually something that I look forward to as much as the training.
I actually met a guy at one seminar who had a t-shirt that read: "I'm new here... Will somebody please throw me?"
12-09-2007, 12:09 AM
I'm with Clark. Nothing like putting on a big smile, extending a hand and saying, "Hi I'm ... and I'm visiting from .... Are you a member here or visiting too?"
12-21-2007, 09:23 PM
I'm a songwriter/musician and in a bit of a parallel to your question, I find myself in scenarios all the time at industry events where I don't know anyone, or I'm invited to a party and only know the person who invited me, etc. It's very easy to feel intimidated when it seems like everyone else knows each other.
But I've learned to make myself step out of the back of the room and mingle with folks. It's usually as simple as introducing yourself and just talking about something going on at the party (or the aikido seminar), etc.
Keep doing it, you'll find it's not so bad.
12-21-2007, 10:02 PM
I don't see how you can NOT talk to someone. I mean...you're at a place where everyone has one passion/great interest in common. It's just too easy.
12-22-2007, 02:12 PM
I have actually attended seminars and had no one really talk to me. Maybe a polite nod or hello, but not so much as to be inclusive or real meaning in an attempt to get to know.
I probably am as much a part of the problem as anyone.
I have found it interesting and ironic how you can be in a room of people where the majority of them know each other, and they obviously know that you are not a normal sight, and not recognize you or acknowledge your "newness".
Either one, they have no real sense of awareness from a martial standpoint.
or two, they are really comfortable within there own circle of people that they are used to and it is too much energy or effort to open up that circle to "let you in".
Either way you are failing martially!
Yea, sure they will work out with you...sort of. You know that semi-polite "well, I guess I have to make eye contact with him eventually and bow and work with him".
One thing I think is a big part of aikido and budo in general is the way we rotate through partners, bowing and saying "onegai shimasu". I think it is that moment that much really can take place in the engagement, mushin, musubi etc. You can read alot about the situation, the comfort level of the person, and they attitude toward training.
I think many times in aikido practice we tend to do two things:
1. Not think we are engaged from the moment we turn in seiza and bow.
2. Think the egagement is over once we complete the throw, choke etc.
We tend to concentrate on the middle of the engagement. At the point and time of uke's attack, then we lose our awareness about us.
Aikidoka aren't the only ones.
I talk a great deal about this concept with my soldiers when conducting tactical training.
I like to point out that one of the big significant differences between a "regular" infantry unit and a Ranger Infantry unit, is not that they have better weapons, or do things that are separate and distinct from each other...but that if you watch a Ranger unit....they go the extra mile...they start and finish whatever they do properly!
Anyway, i think the same goes for seminars and visiting dojos....you must carry over what you practice on the mat during the engagement, to off the mat as well.
Taking the time to practice aikido in it's full spectrum!
12-22-2007, 03:44 PM
Yes, I relate to the stupid feeling of being an outsider but I'm more annoyed when people seek to train with dan grades and not kyu grades.
i tend to seek to train with someone of higher grade than me simply because they tend to have more knowledge to share.
ive never been to any major seminars but when i went to another dojo it did seem as if they had their own circle of friends, and although they were a good bunch to train with i never got to know anyone.
12-23-2007, 02:47 AM
...I must say that, during pause session, talking about aikido is not something i would do or wanna do, since aikido is a path u must find your self....
This might be a problem.
If you talk about Aikido with other folks who want to talk about Aikido, at an Aikido seminar, you might fit in better than if you talk about ... showjumping or atlantic fish stocks.
12-23-2007, 01:03 PM
I guess I don't really understand why you would spend the time and money to go to a seminar only to train with the people you train with all the time. I don't have much experience with cross style seminars but in our organizations yearly camps most of the people I know make a strong effort to NOT train with the people they came with.
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