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kokyu
08-24-2009, 10:42 AM
I was waiting in queue at a dining area to order some food when I noticed the person in front of me was the head of another aikido school. I did not know him personally but I had seen him at several overseas seminars... besides, he was wearing a t-shirt saying 'Hombu Dojo'

This got me thinking... and it's a fun question

After training for some time, do you think it's possible to pick out fellow aikidoka from a normal crowd? maybe from the way the person walks or moves? or perhaps we can sense something...:)

ninjaqutie
08-24-2009, 11:14 AM
I think you can by certain mannerism's. I met someone and they seemed so confident and carried themselves in a particular way. I asked him if he ever did martial arts and he told me yes and wanted to know how I knew. :)

Rob Watson
08-24-2009, 11:57 AM
It's weird. For many seminars I'll help by picking up folks from the airport I've never met nor have ever seen and typically not even have a description beyond 'so and so from aikido of blah blah' and I can spot them instantly step up and introduce myself. Never got one wrong out of ~100.

To be fair lets drop the ~50 that wear aikido related garments - that still leaves an unmistakable trend.

I can't really say what it is but there is definitely something there to pick up on ...

K. Abrams
08-24-2009, 02:10 PM
"Aikidar"??

RED
08-24-2009, 02:15 PM
My fiance stands in homni ... then again he never was quite right.

Walter Martindale
08-24-2009, 03:29 PM
My fiance stands in homni ... then again he never was quite right.

hanmi?
han - half
mi - "visible" sort of. "look" sort of... "exposed" sort of...

Ketsan
08-24-2009, 07:14 PM
I've been asked a couple of times if I'm a ballet dancer!

It's the posture and the centred walk.

Rob Watson
08-24-2009, 07:43 PM
I've been asked a couple of times if I'm a ballet dancer!

It's the posture and the centred walk.

The tutu always gives me away ...

Sy Labthavikul
08-24-2009, 09:17 PM
I've been asked on several occasions whether or not I was a) a ballet dancer, b) a boxer, c) a wushu player, d) a doctor.

Usually though, they just ask if I'm crazy.

Ketsan
08-25-2009, 08:34 AM
The tutu always gives me away ...

Ah.......that could be it. :D

DonMagee
08-25-2009, 09:10 AM
I can tell if someone has been trained in the martial arts by how they walk. I can also tell if someone is a grappler by their ears :D

rob_liberti
08-25-2009, 09:32 AM
I think after a long time in aikido you do end up becoming a bit of an energetic loud speaker (or broad caster). This can be good or bad. There are certain shihan that when they enter the room I actually feel a bit sick to my stomach. Others, that when they enter the room it almost feels like a sigh of relief - or some sort of unberdening experience. Maybe it's all in my head/guts. :)

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 10:03 AM
You guys are better than me. I can only pick out grapplers cause of their build and ears. I can typically do the opposite though. That is I can look at the guy in the Tapout shirt and usually pick him our as a wannabe.

Aikdoka? no way am I that good.

CarrieP
08-25-2009, 10:20 AM
I can only pick out grapplers cause of their build and ears.

How's that, exactly? Clearly, I'm not a grappler.

I'm not enough of a people watcher at present to observe many of the subtlties that others have been able to catch. However, this thread makes me want to indulge my inner Sherlock Holmes.

CarrieP
08-25-2009, 10:29 AM
...certain shihan that when they enter the room I actually feel a bit sick to my stomach. Others, that when they enter the room it almost feels like a sigh of relief - or some sort of unberdening experience. Maybe it's all in my head/guts. :)

Rob

You're obviously picking up on something, not sure what exactly. Perhaps it's the experiences you've had with them on the mat, being reinforced by seeing them?

But whatever's going on it's causing you an emotional reaction.

Not in aikido, but there have been a few rare times where I've felt someone's "presence." Good and bad. It can be quite disconcerting for me, because I get an emotional response, seemingly from nowhere.

Sometimes on the bus, especially towards the end of summer, I feel a very tense vibe, as if everyone is hot and cranky and barely containing their rage.

kokyu
08-25-2009, 11:21 AM
You guys are better than me. I can only pick out grapplers cause of their build and ears.

*ears*... hmmm... I can guess why, but that's a painful guess :D

Ketsan
08-25-2009, 01:40 PM
I think after a long time in aikido you do end up becoming a bit of an energetic loud speaker (or broad caster). This can be good or bad. There are certain shihan that when they enter the room I actually feel a bit sick to my stomach. Others, that when they enter the room it almost feels like a sigh of relief - or some sort of unberdening experience. Maybe it's all in my head/guts. :)

Rob

My dojo has actually had problems because of this kind of thing. We can terrorise a room by sitting in corner reading a book, practically.
The first time we realised there was a problem was when we were in a bar one night and a bouncer came over and very calmly and politely said "You've not done anything lads, I have no problem with you but I have to ask you to leave because people are complaining about you."
Another night we were outside of a club and the bouncers were eyeballing us, giving us really suspicious looks and eventually one says "You four do something don't you?" We're were like "Yep" and he asks if he's going to get any trouble off us. We're like "no, mate" and he stands there just staring at us for a good half a minute and eventually he let us in.
We can walk into a bar and the place goes silent and everyone just stares at us. It's like a scene from a western when the gun slinger walks into the saloon.

It's become a running joke. The upside is that we never have any trouble with people, most guys wont even make eye contact with us.

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2009, 02:18 PM
Next time I go bar crawling, I'm bring you mates.... :D
Best,
Ron :eek:

DonMagee
08-25-2009, 02:33 PM
How's that, exactly? Clearly, I'm not a grappler.

I'm not enough of a people watcher at present to observe many of the subtlties that others have been able to catch. However, this thread makes me want to indulge my inner Sherlock Holmes.

http://www.cauliflower-ear.com/cauliflower_ear_pictures.html

Most long term grapplers end up with some level of screwed up ears. Just like long term judoka end up with ugly looking fingers and toes.

But I notice a lot with how guys walk. It's hard to quantify, but I can tell if someone is able to handle themselves by how they walk.

My aikido teacher says you can tell a lot about the level of a martial artist by the way they stop.

Shadowfax
08-25-2009, 02:48 PM
My dojo has actually had problems because of this kind of thing. We can terrorise a room by sitting in corner reading a book, practically.
The first time we realised there was a problem was when we were in a bar one night and a bouncer came over and very calmly and politely said "You've not done anything lads, I have no problem with you but I have to ask you to leave because people are complaining about you."
Another night we were outside of a club and the bouncers were eyeballing us, giving us really suspicious looks and eventually one says "You four do something don't you?" We're were like "Yep" and he asks if he's going to get any trouble off us. We're like "no, mate" and he stands there just staring at us for a good half a minute and eventually he let us in.
We can walk into a bar and the place goes silent and everyone just stares at us. It's like a scene from a western when the gun slinger walks into the saloon.

It's become a running joke. The upside is that we never have any trouble with people, most guys wont even make eye contact with us.

It might help to stop wearing the Gi to the bar.:p

I've noticed a lot of martial artists have a certain self carriage. Its a combination of things that most people will not consciously register but instinct picks out. I've had it for a long time, expect the Aikido will only refine it more. Geeze I intimidate people as it is I can only imagine what it will be like when Ive trained for a good while. Most people, when I ask them, cant even begin to tell me what it is about me that is so scary.

Someone (martial artist) picked me out of a crowd once too and that was long before I took up Aikido.

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2009, 02:51 PM
I'll bet it's all that work you do with horses! :D

B,
R

Shadowfax
08-25-2009, 03:02 PM
LOL I'm pretty sure that is a large part of it. Horses are not just a part of life to me they are a way of life. Horsemanship and Aikido are amazingly close in nature that way. The person who found me is one of the people who got me on this path simply because he said it is already a part of me. He was right. ;)

Michael Hackett
08-25-2009, 05:22 PM
Probably the spurs and Copenhagen. I doubt the bullwhip puts many people off though.

gdandscompserv
08-25-2009, 05:47 PM
Probably the spurs and Copenhagen. I doubt the bullwhip puts many people off though.
I'm not even sure the spurs would put many people off.;)

gregstec
08-25-2009, 06:42 PM
When I was driving through the parking lot of the venue where we had the Dan Harden Seminar earlier this month, I almost ran over two gentlemen (Mark Murray was one ) and I immediately said to myself that I believe these guys are part of the seminar - of course, the two bokens they were carrying might have been a clue :D

Greg

Michael Hackett
08-25-2009, 07:31 PM
Well, Ricky, we are from California and there isn't much that puts us off out here. Hell, spurs are wedding gifts here. Nothing quite like getting the bride her own tin of Cope either.

eyrie
08-25-2009, 07:47 PM
I can tell if someone has been trained in the martial arts by how they walk. The *really really* good ones can "hide it". ;)

Rob Watson
08-25-2009, 07:50 PM
The *really really* good ones can "hide it". ;)

.. trips on hakama ... 'wha ..?'

RED
08-25-2009, 08:31 PM
hanmi?
han - half
mi - "visible" sort of. "look" sort of... "exposed" sort of...

:rolleyes:
yes teacher

raul rodrigo
08-25-2009, 08:45 PM
.. trips on hakama ... 'wha ..?'

Seeing as I have tripped on my hakama, then that's going to be my story: "Oh that? I meant to do that."

BlueDevilfish
08-25-2009, 11:17 PM
We can walk into a bar and the place goes silent and everyone just stares at us. It's like a scene from a western when the gun slinger walks into the saloon.

You haven't been walking into bars naked by any chance???

eyrie
08-26-2009, 12:27 AM
Or walking into the wrong bar... like The Blue Oyster for instance... :D

thisisnotreal
08-26-2009, 01:18 AM
.. Most people, when I ask them, cant even begin to tell me what it is about me that is so scary.

it's kinda hard 'cause the picture is so small ... but you do kind of look like a centaur. no offense to you or the centaurs. but i do find them scary.

Shadowfax
08-26-2009, 06:50 AM
it's kinda hard 'cause the picture is so small ... but you do kind of look like a centaur. no offense to you or the centaurs. but i do find them scary.

hahaha thanks! Now I totally understand. :D

CarrieP
08-26-2009, 01:03 PM
http://www.cauliflower-ear.com/cauliflower_ear_pictures.html

Most long term grapplers end up with some level of screwed up ears. Just like long term judoka end up with ugly looking fingers and toes.

Oh. OW. :hypno: Thanks.

Robert Cowham
08-26-2009, 01:56 PM
My dojo has actually had problems because of this kind of thing. We can terrorise a room by sitting in corner reading a book, practically.
We can walk into a bar and the place goes silent and everyone just stares at us. It's like a scene from a western when the gun slinger walks into the saloon.
There's a book with a nice quote - I think it is Forest Morgan's "Living the Martial Way", but it may not be.

The author talks about going into bars and getting into fights all the time. Then realises that he goes in and sizes up all those present subconsciously, thinking "I could take him, him, ....".

Things get more peaceful when he goes in to bars with the attitude "everyone in here is safer because I am here..."

Then of course there are all the stories of zen masters playing with tigers etc as opposed to fighting them...

patf
08-26-2009, 07:01 PM
I was playing drop-in soccer during lunch one day last year and a guy on our side got taken down, he did mae-ukemi and was back up immediately.I went over to him and asked him if he did Aikido, and sure enough he did, though he said he hadn't practiced for a few years. Old habits die hard I guess.

Pauliina Lievonen
08-27-2009, 05:06 AM
There's a book with a nice quote - I think it is Forest Morgan's "Living the Martial Way", but it may not be.

The author talks about going into bars and getting into fights all the time. Then realises that he goes in and sizes up all those present subconsciously, thinking "I could take him, him, ....".

Things get more peaceful when he goes in to bars with the attitude "everyone in here is safer because I am here..."
One thing I can do pretty well is walk past the groups of teenagers that hang around street corners where I live, without them calling after me or actually reacting in any particular way at all.

I think what usually happens is adults (especially women I'd imagine) feel threatened by a group like that, and the kids in turn, being teenage kids, already feel insecure and selfconscious and sense very easily that they are being judged. So they react, you could say in self defense. :)

So I think things like "what a nice evening to be with friends" or something like that, sort of get into the same frame of mind as the kids, and I walk right by them and they just go on with whatever they are doing.

kvaak
Pauliina

Michael Hackett
08-27-2009, 01:53 PM
One of the skills you develop as a cop over the years is the ability to pick out who the truly "bad dude" is in a group. The skill isn't foolproof and sometimes you're wrong, but the percentage is very high that you are correct. There are a lot of subtle tells that you can articulate; the deference shown him by his friends, his focus, his relaxed body language, his quiet confidence. It usually ain't the character with the shaved head, tattoos, pit bull and Tapout tee shirt. It certainly isn't the guy telling you how bad he is either.

Uniquely, a friend of mine from the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit interviewed dozens of individuals in prison for killing cops and asked why they chose to fight it out with their victim and not others. Almost to a man, they talked about a lack of focus and attention, lack of confidence, and sloppy uniforms. A common response was that the arresting officer who finally got them wore a sharp looking and professional uniform, had a strong command presence and bearing, was self-confident, and remained focused on the situation.

Kevin Leavitt
08-27-2009, 02:04 PM
Michael Hackett wrote:

Almost to a man, they talked about a lack of focus and attention, lack of confidence, and sloppy uniforms. A common response was that the arresting officer who finally got them wore a sharp looking and professional uniform, had a strong command presence and bearing, was self-confident, and remained focused on the situation.

We in the Army try to impress this to our soldiers big time. This is why a good commander is adamant about his soldiers looking uniform and confident. This is one of the most important things to consider on the street.

All predators work this way. You don't go for the strongest sheep in the heard, but the easiest. The one that appears weak and won't put up a fight.

Shadowfax
08-27-2009, 02:10 PM
Reminds me of an incident once at my job. I had a co worker who claimed he'd been in prison for manslaughter. Any rate he got angry one night at me and started to threaten. Said he'd be meeting me out back after work. I just smiled at him and said ok and continued working. He kept at it and I just kept smiling and saying ok. Totally relaxed and quite cool.

About 30 minutes before we were due to be done work he came over and apologized to me and said he was just upset and didn't mean it... all the while his body language said he was not quite so sure he wanted to go through with it.

Its not the first, or last, time I've used the same body language mentioned by Kevin to change the mind of someone who thought they could push me around. One thing I've often said. You don't actually have to be able to kick someones but you just have to make them believe you can.:cool:

Ron Tisdale
08-27-2009, 02:16 PM
One thing I've often said. You don't actually have to be able to kick someones but you just have to make them believe you can.
Or that there will be just enough pain involved for them in kicking yours that it's NOT worth it... ;)
B,
R

Ketsan
08-27-2009, 08:03 PM
Next time I go bar crawling, I'm bring you mates.... :D
Best,
Ron :eek:

That'd be an awesome night. :D Doubt we'd remember it thought.

Ketsan
08-27-2009, 08:06 PM
It might help to stop wearing the Gi to the bar.:p

Doh, is that where I'm going wrong? :D I thought we had to wear it all the time.

Kevin Leavitt
08-27-2009, 08:14 PM
yeah I went to a bar once wearing one of my Gracie Jiu Jitsu shirts, didn't give it much though until I got in there. Not a good idea. Nothing happened, but I kept getting looks from bubbas that were definitely sizing me up.

Ketsan
08-27-2009, 08:32 PM
Or walking into the wrong bar... like The Blue Oyster for instance... :D

Actually there was this one night. I'll put in my blog cuz I don't think it belongs here.

Lyle Bogin
08-29-2009, 07:56 PM
Sometimes it's like we carry the stink of martial arts...like "stinking of zen".

James Edwards
08-31-2009, 05:13 AM
I tell them apart by the weapon bags they carry :D Although there's this one guy I keep seeing who might be carrying either a naginata or a fishing rod... Might ask him some day.

But the other day I noticed this guy and knew right away that he does some sort of meditation or exercise from they way he sat. He was also a vegetarian. Turns out he was a yoga teacher.

Talking about people who always stand in hanmi, I read somewhere that Takeda Sokaku always stood in hanmi...

kokyu
08-31-2009, 11:14 AM
yeah I went to a bar once wearing one of my Gracie Jiu Jitsu shirts, didn't give it much though until I got in there. Not a good idea. Nothing happened, but I kept getting looks from bubbas that were definitely sizing me up.

Yup... I also feel uncomfortable wearing a shirt that advertises your martial art when walking around outside... not quite sure what kind of message you are trying to send to people around you

kokyu
08-31-2009, 11:22 AM
http://www.cauliflower-ear.com/cauliflower_ear_pictures.html

But I notice a lot with how guys walk. It's hard to quantify, but I can tell if someone is able to handle themselves by how they walk.



Tend to agree... notice that people of a certain rank have a relaxed but alert air about them... however, reaching that rank would probably require 10+ years of dedicated training :straightf

j0nharris
09-03-2009, 09:52 AM
It's usually the guy who says, "Here, grab my wrist..."

Gernot Hassenpflug
09-03-2009, 02:09 PM
I can only pick up martial arts "losers", or really clumsy people :p

The other day at free traiing there were two iaido blokes training on the wooden floor part of the hall, one of 'em had a massive scar all the way around the side of his face going across the top of his head to the other side of this face. I figured he was clumsy... sure enough, his iaito went flying a few times <gulp> and he tripped and fell over his hakama and went down at least once. Then there was the issue of a pink dogi top.... So on entering the hall after water breaks was very careful not to get skewered.

Oh, and spotting bullshit in non-MA people (business, work) is another fun skill, sad though it may be that this is necessary.

MA is fun!

John Ianus
11-12-2012, 04:51 AM
There's a book with a nice quote - I think it is Forest Morgan's "Living the Martial Way", but it may not be.

The author talks about going into bars and getting into fights all the time. Then realises that he goes in and sizes up all those present subconsciously, thinking "I could take him, him, ....".

Things get more peaceful when he goes in to bars with the attitude "everyone in here is safer because I am here..."

Then of course there are all the stories of zen masters playing with tigers etc as opposed to fighting them...

That's pretty cool. Is that the correct book?

Jareddw
11-16-2012, 11:49 AM
That's pretty cool. Is that the correct book?

Yes, If anyone who is a martial artist or wants to be a martial artist hasn't read this book, you should eagerly hunt it down. It discusses being a martial art, regardless of the art. It was the first book I ever read that made me ashamed I didn't train harder.
I've grown up incredibly since first reading this book, and I still go back and read it occasionally. Now the difference is that I'm inspired to train harder.

dongaleb
11-18-2012, 12:37 PM
If you hold a glass or a beer with your index finger pointing out, aikidokas can tell.

Pinkie pointing out, that's another story.

ryback
11-19-2012, 05:40 AM
I always get exposed...It must be the ponnytail...

lbb
11-19-2012, 09:42 AM
If you hold a glass or a beer with your index finger pointing out, aikidokas can tell.

Can tell what? And why?

dongaleb
11-21-2012, 06:23 AM
Can tell what? And why?

Sankyo hold, index finger points out, twist towards the uke (standing up)

Yonkyo also.

Ki direction.

Or maybe its just me! :)

lbb
11-21-2012, 08:25 AM
Sankyo hold, index finger points out, twist towards the uke (standing up)

Yonkyo also.

Ki direction.

Or maybe its just me! :)

Ohhhhh, I get it! But what if the beer is in a mug?

Krystal Locke
11-21-2012, 10:16 AM
Sankyo hold, index finger points out, twist towards the uke (standing up)

Yonkyo also.

Ki direction.

Or maybe its just me! :)

Sticking out a finger is almost always a mistake around my parts. I am trying to eliminate that particular counter inducer from my techniques. I think the finger thing is a training/illustrative technique gone bad.

Keith Larman
11-21-2012, 11:16 AM
Sticking out a finger is almost always a mistake around my parts. I am trying to eliminate that particular counter inducer from my techniques. I think the finger thing is a training/illustrative technique gone bad.

Yeah, I had a fella "break" me of that habit years ago. "Oh, that's why you don't do that... Damn. Hold on, I'd better tape that finger to the other one and hit urgent care..."

Lots of folks' first reaction to something like a sankyo is to try to grab at their hand if they can get there. With a finger sticking out it's the first thing I'd go for myself if I could. Fingers make great motivators.

Janet Rosen
11-21-2012, 11:19 AM
Yeah, I had a fella "break" me of that habit years ago. "Oh, that's why you don't do that... Damn. Hold on, I'd better tape that finger to the other one and hit urgent care..."

Lots of folks' first reaction to something like a sankyo is to try to grab at their hand if they can get there. With a finger sticking out it's the first thing I'd go for myself if I could. Fingers make great motivators.

Yep. As a person with small hands myself, I've been taught that sankyo can be very effectively applied just by holding uke's pinkie...darn if I want to offer the gift of a "handle" myself!

Krystal Locke
11-21-2012, 12:01 PM
The finger thing happens in my dojo because newbs have the tendency to squeeze and twist at the wrist in sankyo rather than use the locked wrist to control uke's center. We sometimes will fix that by grabbing bokken, telling newb to cut with both index fingers pointing out ONLY TO SEE IF THEY ALIGN THEIR HANDS CORRECTLY, and then have them try sankyo again with index fingers pointing ONLY TO SEE IF THEY ALIGN THEIR HANDS CORRECTLY AND TO SEE IF NAGE'S RELATIONSHIP TO UKE'S CENTERLINE IS CORRECT. But, since sankyo all of a sudden actually starts to work for newb, they sometimes miss the point (so to speak) and think the secret is in the finger pointing.

Same thing happens with nikkyo. And we have a couple top guns who will let you know how wrong you are. I appreciate my sempai.

dongaleb
11-22-2012, 09:42 AM
I rest my case. Aikidokas!!!