View Full Version : Off-the-Mat
12-31-2007, 11:10 AM
When I'm "Off the mat," commentary can (should) be used the same way as technique as far as I'm concerned. Here is small example. An interesting situation came about as I was in the locker room at the local YMCA. My senior student and I had just finished working out and we were holding an animated conversation on the problems of some students in the dojo. the discussion went like this: "While a few students' listening skills are lacking, some require the development of proper decorum in dealing with people's feelings or the lack of natural abilities. Students of lower rank who demonstrated greater skills were intimidating some higher ranked students. This may happens in a dojo more often than most people think." The discussion centered on how to reach the formers' mind. Teaching attitudinal resolutions or how to get one person pass another's ego problem was what we were talking about.
A gentleman at a locker close to us stated that it sounded as if we were discussing "corporate America." In one sense we were. Life's solutions cross lines. In other words, life cannot be segmented. The principles are universal and apply everywhere. Some situations need or call for specific answers. But basically, how you operate in one venue is the way you operate in all avenues of your existence. We caught this man's attention because "everything affects everything else" and we were just applying mental Aikido principles.
This is how I approach Aikido usage in everyday life, "off the mat."
12-31-2007, 11:40 AM
Yep, where ever you go, there you are.
Always lead from the front and lead by example.
01-01-2008, 01:34 AM
"While a few students' listening skills are lacking, some require the development of proper decorum in dealing with people's feelings or the lack of natural abilities. Students of lower rank who demonstrated greater skills were intimidating some higher ranked students. This may happens in a dojo more often than most people think."
I agree... In fact, after some lengthy reflection, I have found that this is one of the many benefits my meager 3 years of aikido has granted me: an ability to consider the situation carefully and quickly.
As our dojo is growing more and more, and now that I have a role of a "senior" student. . . I see newer students pushing their own and others' limits, needing to be helped in understanding the ettiquete and duties around the dojo. I have begun to learn how to consider how/when/where to guide these students.
I have discovered that with this development it's become easier for me to consider many more aspects of situations before I put myself, my opinion, offer my assitance, etc.
I truely enjoy this new found self-reflective aspect of the art and I think that this is a big part of the "centering" and "claming" effect that aikidoka try to explain to non-pratictioners.
01-02-2008, 09:43 PM
But basically, how you operate in one venue is the way you operate in all avenues of your existence.
I couldn't agree more.
On a daily basis, I personally have to deal with trying to live life without turning everything into a contest / game. I found that life has been more uplifiting / tranquil when you aren't trying to conform to a non-existent scoreboard that logs down who is better at what. This is my personal struggle anyway :D
PS ~add in:
Oh yeah ~ almost forgot, this may come a little late, but still, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
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