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tomhusband
06-09-2008, 10:53 AM
Hi,

I learned Aikido for a year at uni. I was so appallingly bad at it that I lost the motivation to continue but nevertheless found the philosophy fascinating. During that time, I read this story that's always stayed with me. The thing is, I'm beginning to wonder if I dreamed it because I've never been able to find it since. Basically, Ueshiba was demonstrating a selection of throws to a group of lucky students when one upstart complained: "Master, all these throws are the same."
Ueshiba retorted: "When you can see the difference between these throws you will be ready to learn Aikido!" Or something of that nature. If I didn't dream it.
Anyway, if anyone is in a position to confirm this as an actual story, and indeed, correct the mistakes its bound to be riddled with, I would be extremely grateful.

jennifer paige smith
06-09-2008, 03:42 PM
Hi,

I learned Aikido for a year at uni. I was so appallingly bad at it that I lost the motivation to continue but nevertheless found the philosophy fascinating. During that time, I read this story that's always stayed with me. The thing is, I'm beginning to wonder if I dreamed it because I've never been able to find it since. Basically, Ueshiba was demonstrating a selection of throws to a group of lucky students when one upstart complained: "Master, all these throws are the same."
Ueshiba retorted: "When you can see the difference between these throws you will be ready to learn Aikido!" Or something of that nature. If I didn't dream it.
Anyway, if anyone is in a position to confirm this as an actual story, and indeed, correct the mistakes its bound to be riddled with, I would be extremely grateful.

Hi,
In the newest edition of The Art of Peace there is a passage which recounts a story where some new student, after watching O'Sensei demonstrate Ikkyo for an hour, asked out of boredom, "Sensei, Couldn't you please show us something new?" And O'Sensei, according to the story replied in great frustration and fury, "You fool,each and every one of those techniques WAS different. Only when you can discern the difference between them will you know Aikido."
There is another story in that book that tells of a time when O'Sensei recommended to one of his students, "Call the technique anything you like. Give it your own name. That way you can get to know it better."
I sometimes call my techniques names like 'Hello, Fred.' Just for fun.
Hope this helps your dream state.


BTW In my feeling and experience this is so great because each individual technique each individual time does have it's own character and signature; just like people are created in energy and matter, each different from the next, so are the manifest products of aikido ( i.e. techniques). And just like we learn to distinguish ,say, an African from a Eskimo, both being human, we can distinguish types of techniques, their feel and what they are like at any given moment. But, they are individuals ( born of Take Musu) .

Given that as the framework, to say "I'm not any good at aikido" is to say "I'm not any good at being alive." It just isn't true as a wholesale statement or in measure with life. We are all learning, we all have strengths and 'future strengths', and we are all in need of more training. No one is an exception to this. So keep the chin up and get on the mat! And no more " I ain't good" outta ya.;)

Peace,
jen Smith

tomhusband
06-18-2008, 11:10 PM
Hello,

First of all, thanks very much for confirming the existence of the story I feared ever more that I'd dreamed.

Secondly, sorry I've taken this long to reply, it's inexcusable.

Now let's get stuck into the examination of whether "I'm not any good at being alive" is the logical conclusion from saying "I'm not any good at aikido".

Now I could be angered of at least irked by this but it's a) incredibly funny and b) astounding insightful. I was that kid in sport who was useless. I was good at most stuff and dreadful at sport which made me (childishly) try as hard as I could NOT to try at sport. Englishmen talk much of football. If asked if I play I'm duty bound to say, "Yes but I'm shit at it," to which they, as modesty demands, reply: "Me too," to which I have to reply, "No, no, you don't understand the vast gulf that exists between our abilities."

So given that all that's the case you're probably absolutely right and I should just get stuck into Aikido again and progress in my own way. Not that I wasn't a good sport when I was training. I remember we went to a competition in London. The guy I was competing against got 8 strikes on me while I managed a comfortable zero. The only person not smiling afterwards was my instructor who later that day dubbed me Club Wife. Perhaps I should blame him for my resulting disillusion.

I think the safest thing to do at this stage would be on the one hand to concede that I would almost certainly benefit, more philosophically than in self-defence ability I suspect, from resuming Aikido training but for me to assure you that there are other things I do in my life that would disqualify me from "not being any good at being alive". But I feel I've already wittered on too long to go into what they are.

Many thanks

Tom

batemanb
06-19-2008, 01:36 AM
So given that all that's the case you're probably absolutely right and I should just get stuck into Aikido again and progress in my own way. Not that I wasn't a good sport when I was training. I remember we went to a competition in London. The guy I was competing against got 8 strikes on me while I managed a comfortable zero. The only person not smiling afterwards was my instructor who later that day dubbed me Club Wife. Perhaps I should blame him for my resulting disillusion.

Hi Tom,

Given the competition reference it seems that you were learning Shodokan aikido, or a derivative of. Perhaps a stroll down a different path with one of the other aikido associations would help you out. Most of the other aikido associations do not partake in competitions. You can stroll at your own pace (as I'm sure you can in Shodokan), but maybe feel less pressure on yourself to perform without the added pressure of a competition. The only pressure you have is that which you place upon yourself, as you start enjoying your aikido practice, that will become less until in years gone by when you'll wonder what all the fuss was.

Hope you find what you're looking for.

Bryan

drabson
06-19-2008, 03:07 AM
Don't give up on the idea of Aikido. I was also the kid last chosen for any sports team at school. When I discovered Aikido later in life, I finally realised that much if not all of my problem was thinking too much. Aikido helped to teach me to just move and try not to think. Nearly twenty years later, I'm still practicing that one :D.