PDA

View Full Version : What is Aikido to you?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Mesosphere
04-28-2009, 06:02 AM
I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it, are you happy you started it, what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc. I think you get the idea. :D

Abasan
04-28-2009, 10:06 AM
I first knew about Aikido when I was a kid reading some books about martial arts of the world. Prior to that I was into Kung Fu and Silat because of its exposure to my part of the world. This is something like 26 years ago. After reading the book, I had a genuine interest in learning it but it was soon forgotten because it was an art that no one knew about in Malaysia at that point in time (in general I mean).

So after a few years kicking about in ITF, I was then introduced to Steven Seagals kick ass movies... although underage at that time, we have no compunctions on watching extremely violent movies when martial arts is concerned. So my interest in Aikido peaked again.

I'm glad that my introduction to Aikido 12 years ago was through the gentle school of Shin Shin Toitsu. It really made a difference to me to learn more about the Ki/health and unification aspect of training instead of the more martial applications of the art.

Upon coming back to Malaysia, I was then exposed to the more martial aspects which was a bit of a shocker to me at that point in time. I'm no stranger to more hardcore arts, but it really opened my eyes when I started to meet rougher and rougher aikidokas. Even back in England, I've gone to a couple of BAB seminars and gatherings, and whilst not all schools were Ki aligned, the aikidokas I met were very gentle.

Still, my interest never wavered. I've met countless of Shihans on this side of the world and some senior sensei's who never made Shihan'hood but to all intents and purpose are really masters in themselves. Together they have shown me that Aikido has so many facets, that you can look at it from many different angles and purpose.

So it would seem that it truly is a wonderful art. To have so many different schools of thought attributed to it but all in all with the guiding principle of aiki.

Truth to be told, I've had my moments when I have detested Aikido or interpretations of it. But having met some people who have shown me the wonders of Aiki, I'm glad that I have never let the intention of quitting cross my mind.

Aikido to me now is Aiki-do.

David Maidment
04-28-2009, 12:15 PM
To me, Aikido is a target for me to achieve in life. I don't necessarily mean the black belt, the hakama, the 'sensei' or the 'shihan' (although any of the above would be nice!), but the whole aiki concept, the feeling of oneness, etc. Essentially, Aikido is my path to becoming a god-damn no good hippy.

Mark Peckett
04-30-2009, 05:58 AM
I posted a similar question in the Spiritual section of this forum, and got one more answer than you, Mesosphere. I guess this means people either don't want to talk about it, or aren't sure what aikido means to them.

I drop into the second category, and if I'm honest, I hoped that something someone else said might resonate with me.

However, to try and answer the question, honestly: I'm happier with my aikido than I've been since I started. After nearly thirty years perhaps I've come full circle and I find each lesson, whether I'm teaching or being taught, is exciting - it's like beginner's mind all over again!

The harder question about how much of a change it's made in me? More confident, I think - but maybe that's simply the confidence that comes from being 55 not 25; probably a little bit more careful about situations with dangerous overtones because I'm aware of how easily the human body can be hurt - mine especially!! And it's been a spiritual path that I've fallen off more times than I care to count - but like David, I'm working towards being a damn no-good hippy!!

mathewjgano
04-30-2009, 09:35 AM
I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it, are you happy you started it, what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc. I think you get the idea. :D

I like the Target analogy...and the no-good hippy stuff too! 'Cause man, if genetics is what makes your family your family, man, then we're all like 99% family, right?!:cool: :D
So for me, Aikido the idea is an ideal to be reached for. At it's broadest sense it's (I think) the Tao: the way of everything; from interacting with superior forces to inferior (in terms of potency) forces. In a slightly more practical sense, since it's a "way" I think it's supposed to apply somewhat universally; it's about finding and making ways toward universal efficiency and beneficence. For me that's the spiritual aspect. The social aspect lies in how efficient and mutually beneficent our interpersonal interactions are and this can be broken down into physical and non-physical interactions. Of course the physical interaction is where Aikido proper takes its central form, so the further away from that you get, the less likely is a person practicing Aikido. Then again, maybe Aikido is purely the physical practice and the non-physical manifestations are simply echos of Aikido. Ultimately, I don't know...which is why I never feel comfortable saying what "Aikido" is.
Beyond attempting to define Aikido, yes, I'm very happy with having trained in Aikido. My serious training of Aikido took place several years ago and it left a very lasting and positive impression on me as a person. It reinforced very positive traits in my attitude at a time when I was very negative, so I'm also very greatful. Over the last several years Aikido has been more an idea to me than a practice, but that will be changing soon.
Also, I was never in as good of shape as when I trained in Aikido. Because I was trying to engage every part of my body, I got a very good whole-body workout.
There's my two cents...or maybe a wooden nickle!
Take care,
Matt

Phil Van Treese
04-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Aikido, and judo too, was a discipline learned early. It gave me an ideal to work for and never give up---character formation. You can be great but not let it show, you can be the best but be humble, but most importantly you can stand tall while bending over to help others.

Joe McParland
04-30-2009, 11:41 AM
Misogi, in one form or another.

Sarah Lothmann
05-06-2009, 02:08 AM
While I've been a fan of Aikido from a far for some years, I am brand spanking baby fresh new to the actual experience of it. What I can say already, is that Aikido is for me:

Love & Awareness

Although my Aikido journey is still so young, without a doubt - this art is one of the greatest blessings in my life!!
Thank You O'Sensei, Sensei, and all my fellow Aikido artists!

dps
05-06-2009, 06:23 AM
A tool to be used for whatever I want, whether it be for self defense, personal transformation, spiritual, aerobic exercise, social interaction, character developement, etc.

Any one or combination to be used at various times or places.
It all depends on what I want or need when I am practicing.

David

Mark Uttech
05-06-2009, 10:10 AM
Onegaishimasu. Aikido for me, is a very good chance at social education, something that is sorely needed in these times.

In gassho,

Mark

Ron Tisdale
05-06-2009, 10:27 AM
Keiko.

Best,
Ron

Chuck Clark
05-06-2009, 11:16 AM
A mirror and at the same time a magnifying glass that gives us the ability to look at our self and others at the same time. Feedback is immediate.

Sarah Lothmann
05-07-2009, 03:43 PM
A mirror and at the same time a magnifying glass that gives us the ability to look at our self and others at the same time. Feedback is immediate.

;) Well said...that resonates with me!

jamie yugawa
05-07-2009, 10:36 PM
Aikido means a lot to me ,but i think it means perseverence and and the struggle to better ourselves everyday .Sometimes i wonder why i train it seems like its too hard , i cant grasp the technique or my partner is not blending with me and i get frustrated . At the end of the class i feel great and maybe another step towards my goal of overcoming the things that hinder me from blending with others. :)

aikibudo
05-07-2009, 11:00 PM
Aikido/Budo means alot to me, but mostly it gives me a good feeling of being "one".

Kevin Karr
05-08-2009, 02:20 PM
Budo means, that years from now, when I look back on my life, no matter what I did or did not accomplish, I can say, " I trained."

Dan Richards
05-18-2009, 10:28 PM
Dress? Check
Sword? Check
Camp? Check

Sign me up! : )

Hiriki_Aikidoka
05-19-2009, 02:31 AM
aikido is the only thing ive ever cared about. i can honestly say i love it and have never felt this way about anything before. when i first started it just felt right. i curently go 3 hours a day and 5 nights a week. and have been doin so for almost a year now

BC
05-19-2009, 03:23 PM
Confusing...

Lulu
05-19-2009, 05:26 PM
It is just one of many important dimensions to my life.
It is a feeling of accomplishment and frustration. It is where I fell at home and sometimes a stranger.
It is a means to explore the physical limits and possibilities within us all.
I love it, respect it and it is always a beautiful thing to witness and practice.
And besides - it is a great work out and you meet a lot of great people!

Maarten De Queecker
05-21-2009, 02:39 PM
It is just one of many important dimensions to my life.
It is a feeling of accomplishment and frustration. It is where I fell at home and sometimes a stranger.
It is a means to explore the physical limits and possibilities within us all.
I love it, respect it and it is always a beautiful thing to witness and practice.
And besides - it is a great work out and you meet a lot of great people!
I have nothing to add to that.

CNYMike
05-21-2009, 05:07 PM
I thought it would be a cool idea to ask people "what is Aikido to you?"
As in how do you feel about it ....

I like it. I may be a whiney mouth-breater on the mat, but I feel good afterwards. I tend to go with what Tamura Sensei said on a DVD I have: "What is Aikido? I still don't know, but I like it."


are you happy you started it .....

Well, I'm happy I returned to it in 2004 after a 16 year abscene. I don't know how my training partners feel, but I'm happy. :p :) Just remember, guys, delete the expletives if you de-lurk. :D


what has it done for you, and are you happy so far with it etc ..... [/qote] I think you get the idea. :D

Little harder to pin down.

From a martial art persepctive, I go with the Inosanto Academy cant of "no one martial art has all the answers, but every one has something to offer." I just don't know what Aikido's something is, and it doesn't help that I am too lazy to do the amount of solo training and research to find out. :o I imagine over time, I'll work it out.

My instructors in other arts have, ah, NOTED me for my wrist locks, so it may be that familiarity with a technique or an area helps, even if the locks are done differently elsewhere. But otherwise, it is very hard to pin down. Some things have tried to pop out in sparring, not always good. But some things are natural that I should probably learn to take advantage of.

Personally ..... I don't know. I fell in love with Aikido twenty-three years ago and as I said, returned after a gap of 16 years. I like doing it; that by itself is a good thing. The dojos I train in have knowelegeable instructors -- one of whom is a unique individual whom you will never meet again in a million years -- loyal followings and a "family" feeling that not many other schools have. I'm glad I'm doing it here and now with these people at this time in my life.

Yeesh, when did I get so mushy!? Where're the MMA Nazis when you need them!? :D

patf
05-22-2009, 11:23 AM
A good physical workout in a nice friendly environment.
A chance to stretch muscles that don't normally get stretched.
A good way to increase my body's flexibility.
An opportunity to learn new things.

For me there have been no character/spiritual changes in my life due to Aikido, I'm still the same me I was before Aikido, just a lot more fitter, thinner and flexible. The workout is the main thing for me, I don't care particularly for testing, I'd rather just train. I measure my progress not in techniques learned but in my fitness level.

lbb
05-22-2009, 01:22 PM
I think, as far as aikido goes, that I'm like the blind men and the elephant -- and that I'm all of the blind men. On any given day, I touch one part of aikido, and that's what stays with me most strongly: today it's just a hard workout, and tomorrow it's all about the zanshin, and the next day it's finally feeling a technique start to come together, and another day it's "never gonna get this" frustration, and another day it's "ow, I hurt...a lot", and another day it's "just keep trying", and another day it's "I feel like I got somewhere". Mostly it's an experience of just trying to keep at it, to train with sincerity, and to trust that something good will come out of that, without expectation of what or when or how.

Chantal
05-23-2009, 04:39 PM
My best friend got me interested in aikido (thanks Grant) ...he showed me a few techniques and I was pretty much hooked. I really love the fact that there is not much punching and kicking in aikido ... that the art rests with flow of movement. Aikido allows me the opportunity to regain balance ;)

erikmenzel
05-23-2009, 04:54 PM
Aikido is what I do, and one of the places I train it is in the dojo

Darryl Bronson
05-24-2009, 12:20 AM
I have been a fan of Martial Arts since I first saw the Master "Bruce Lee" in the Green Hornet television show, Enter the Dragon and yet no other Martial Art form has become so much apart of my life as Aikido. It keeps me whole, it gives me perspective, I have a solid foundation of life as an Aikidoist. The way of harmony is my way and Aikido is my life.

Guilty Spark
05-24-2009, 09:41 AM
Welcome chantal :)

Beautiful replies and descriptions. I'm realizing I'm pretty friggin low brow.

Aikido to me is someone trying to smash me and instead of meeting force with force I'm redirecting the attack. May still end up kicking and punching but the initial contact is an attempt to unbalance.

lbb
05-24-2009, 04:27 PM
Beautiful replies and descriptions. I'm realizing I'm pretty friggin low brow.

Or maybe you're just not the sort of person who needs everything to be deeply meaningful all the time. What's the zen saying about "drink your tea, eat your rice, wear your clothes"?

Nick
05-27-2009, 04:52 PM
Welcome chantal :)

Beautiful replies and descriptions. I'm realizing I'm pretty friggin low brow.

Aikido to me is someone trying to smash me and instead of meeting force with force I'm redirecting the attack. May still end up kicking and punching but the initial contact is an attempt to unbalance.

Sometimes low brow is the way to go. When something visceral (someone trying to smash you) occurs, if you haven't trained aikido to be a MARTIAL art as well as a martial ART, then you'll gain a new understanding of the role of conflict as you wake up in the emergency department.

Your description is just as apt as any above: both sides are important. Aikido merely as a spiritual exercise is not aikido, just like aikido purely as a physical competition is not aikido.

Nick

Ruairidh
05-27-2009, 08:12 PM
i have to say... so far, aikido is great for me i am only at my yellow belt but i am glad i started it. it keeps me more alert in the street, it keeps me a little calmer when agitated, and obviously helps me in self defence.

Shadowfax
05-31-2009, 08:29 PM
Today was my third class.... fourth if you could the introductory I attended before deciding to really give it a shot. The concept of blending with another's movement is nothing new to me its something I do as a mater of course in my equestrian life. The concept of Ki while not known in this name also nothing new to me either as I have always lived in energy and been aware of it in myself and others, but learning to use it intentionally and in a more focused manner is something I am glad to be working on. I spend a large amount of time in Zanshin and Mushin mind sets in my work and every day life although until now I had no idea those concepts had names...

What does Aikido do for me truly? It gives me an outlet. If I am having a bad day at work or I am stressed I just start doing Kata in my head.(my co workers have a strange aversion to grabbing my wrist although I often invite them to do so.) It about never fails to calm me right down. When I have been having a rough week I go to class.. when I arrive I am tense, out of sorts, not feeling great. maybe tired and wondering if maybe I should stay home. When I leave... I feel good. I feel alive. Maybe kinda sore and hurting a bit due to rediscovering some forgotten muscles, but never sorry I went to class. So really right now Aikido is helping me to find and restore my balance. Something that I have not had in a very long time.:)

lbb
05-31-2009, 08:37 PM
(my co workers have a strange aversion to grabbing my wrist although I often invite them to do so.)

After three classes?

Shadowfax
06-01-2009, 09:20 AM
After three classes?

pfft no.. after one class actually.Its just fun to mess with their heads. They don't have the first clue what Aikido is. And no I don't go around throwing people for fun.. I'm hardly trained enough to be trying it on my own. You'd have to see me in person and in my work environment to understand their aversion... I can be kinda intimidating to those who don't know me very well in that environment. They are well trained to stay out of the way when I'm super focused.

lbb
06-01-2009, 10:24 AM
pfft no.. after one class actually.Its just fun to mess with their heads. They don't have the first clue what Aikido is.

Seriously? After one aikido class you decided to "mess with [the] heads" of your co-workers by using aikido techniques on them -- because they "don't have the first clue what Aikido is"?

Ron Tisdale
06-01-2009, 10:45 AM
Personally, I would never "demonstrate" aikido techniques casually in the workplace. I find it inappropriate now, though there were a couple of times in the past where I did do this. Now, if people would like to learn or try aikido, they are welcome to come to the dojo and train for free a couple of times. If they like it, they can pay and keep coming. If not, then not.

No harm in talking about your interests surely. But demonstrating on coworkers? I think my teacher would be a little upset with me.

I have been asked in the past to do a demonstration in the workplace for Bring Your D/Ss to Work Day. So my instructor at the time and several students came in and we did a demonstration (on mats), and if people were interested in some of the controls we gently showed them, with an instructor there to supervise. That seemed to go well.

Best,
Ron

Nick
06-01-2009, 11:24 AM
pfft no.. after one class actually.Its just fun to mess with their heads. They don't have the first clue what Aikido is.

Neither, apparently, do you.

Shadowfax
06-01-2009, 12:38 PM
I'm sorry you are misunderstanding me. I don't need aikido in order to "play", with my co workers. Never have, never will and don't plan on it. It was a simple attempt at humor that has been taken quite out of context. My apologies for upsetting you.

Linda Eskin
06-02-2009, 01:40 AM
Someone on these forums said recently "if you know one thing, teach one thing." I love that idea, because as a brand new newbie (< 1 month) all I know are one or two things, and I'm not real sure about those. It's a good thought that one could still be useful to others even when very inexperienced. So here goes my attempt at teaching one of the few things I'm pretty sure I know.

But first... Cherie and I came to Aikido at the same time, and via the same route (although we don't otherwise know each other). We're both horsepeople, and have worked with the horse trainer (and people trainer) Mark Rashid, who also happens to be a nidan, I believe, in Yoshinkan Aikido, which he applies to his work with horses & people. So far Cherie and I have each had 3-4 Aikido classes. So we have to stick together and help each other out. :)

Cherie said, in her Introduction post: "I am an extremely green greeni having only had two classes so far, and no sports type background at all much less martial arts."

Cherie, this is where my half-a-clue might come in handy, so here I am offering a hand and pulling you up onto the next step on a very long stairway of stuff to learn. :) I did a little Tang Soo Do, way back when. One of the things that was impressed on us in that school was that you never "practice" on your friends, or demonstrate, or show off. You don't wear your gi outside of the dojo. You don't go around telling people that you know a thing or two about some martial art. As a newbie, and probably for quite a long time, you don't know enough to keep from hurting someone, and worse, some bozo might decide to challenge you. So don't goof around with this stuff. Or at least that was the Tang Soo Do version, as I remember it from 30 years ago.

I don't recall hearing that lecture so much around Aikido, but I'm taking it as "a given" with any martial art. Having no martial arts background at all I would guess you haven't gotten that particular talking-to. No worries, now you know. :)

Moving (slowly) toward harmony,
Linda

brianb
06-02-2009, 02:06 AM
after one or two classes you wouldnt know proper tech?

Shadowfax
06-02-2009, 07:15 AM
Please show me where I said I practice on my co-workers. My statement was that they have an aversion to grabbing my wrist. To be honest if I had invited them to do so before aikido they would have declined.But when they learned I had taken up a martial art and being clueless as they are they reacted as if it were a big deal. Once more I will say this. I am sorry people misunderstood. If I were able to I'd delete the posts so as to not further stumble others.

I do not now never have and never will "demonstrate(d) any aikido on anyone outside of the dojo. Other than telling my friends and Co-workes that I am taking and immensely enjoying Aikido I do not discuss technique with them. That would be pointless and irresponsible.

And I certainly don't wear my Gi outside of it.. all that white. Ugh I don't think so.

Thank you Linda for your attempt at support, even though you also seem to have jumped tot he conclusion that I was doing something I was not.

Now can we please move on?

Thanks.

lbb
06-02-2009, 07:59 AM
Please show me where I said I practice on my co-workers. My statement was that they have an aversion to grabbing my wrist. To be honest if I had invited them to do so before aikido they would have declined.But when they learned I had taken up a martial art and being clueless as they are they reacted as if it were a big deal.

That's why I'm pretty careful about who I tell that I practice a martial art, and how much I talk about it with those who do know. Popular misconceptions, the fact that it's not a common pastime (which leads to a kind of, "Why are you telling me this?" reaction) and the all-too-common "I could take you" reaction make it generally a lose. I think most people at work know, but it's better to let it be thought of as a slightly nerdy physical activity, kind of like the guy down the hall who plays competitive ultimate frisbee.

Linda Eskin
06-02-2009, 09:02 AM
Hi Brian,

We're well into that area where my knowledge runs out, so I hope someone with more experience will jump in, but... My assumption is that even if we (as brand new newbies) could adequately manage a technique or two, there are a hundred things we don't know. I don't know the physiology of how each wrist lock works. I have no idea of all the ways I could accidentally injure someone (particularly a non-aikidoka, uncooperative uke-friend) by wrenching their elbow the wrong way. I can barely figure out where my feet go, never mind anticipating what uke could do to take me down while I'm trying to remember which way to twist their arm.

I was injured taking a fall the wrong way in my 4th class. I finally (after 3 weeks) get to go back tonight, but no falling/rolling for 3 weeks. And oh yeah, it *hurts*. And that's a trivially minor sprain-type injury that should heal uneventfully. We newbies can do a lot worse. ;)

I think of the "don't mess around with this stuff" idea in very much the same way I would think of handling firearms. One should not take a few lessons at a pistol range, and then go around town carrying a gun, thinking they are trained in using it. Certainly pointing one's shiny new pistol at a friend just to give them a scare would Not Be Done. One would also not go around boasting about having a weapon.

When we're new enough to want to "practice" on our friends, we're not good enough. When we're good enough, we finally know better. :)

Linda Eskin
06-02-2009, 09:11 AM
Hi Cherie,

Oops, we posted at the same time. Now I see your latest.

My apologies for jumping to conclusions. "Grab my wrist" is typically the cry of the newbie trying/demonstrating techniques on friends, so I assumed that's what you'd done. I understand now that you hadn't - thank you for clearing that up.

In any case, it's a useful discussion, and I'm sure someone will learn from it.

Cheers,
Linda

Karo
06-02-2009, 11:29 PM
Aikido to me is a path. Where the path will take me, will in time be revealed.

From the reports of those who walked it before me, I know the path will be challenging. Sometimes it goes uphill, sometimes downhill. Sometimes it's wide and smooth, sometimes rocky and narrow. Sometimes you walk it in the light of a summer day, sometimes struggle uncertainly in the darkness and cold. But forward, always forward.

The faces of those who walked it are beautiful and calm.

So whatever it is, I want it. Wherever it may take me, I will follow.

(Okay, I did not suspect myself of such poetic inclinations... :eek: )

Karo

franklaubach
06-03-2009, 12:36 AM
it is a wonderful japanese martial art.

Akako110
06-16-2009, 03:48 PM
To me Aikido is not just a martial art it's a place where I can just relax and it just kind of... Rejuvenates me.
Also it's a good place to be when down on my luck and maybe my parents are getting on my nerves. Aikido (as well as all martial arts)
is like my haven, and the people there are like my second family!! I love it there!!

"Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.
-Virginia Wool"

Douglas Fajardo
06-30-2009, 04:07 PM
Aikido is like a empty glass of water, more water but still empty
Thatīs why is so dificult to learn ,thatīs why is so dificult to understand,
Aikido is a Master piece

mathewjgano
07-01-2009, 01:43 PM
These days Aikido for me is a tradition of self-mastery.