View Full Version : Poll: If you could take a magical pill to instantly master the techniques of aikido, would you?
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03-31-2002, 01:01 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of March 31, 2002:
If you could take a magical pill to instantly master the techniques of aikido, would you?
I don't do aikido
Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=107).
03-31-2002, 01:46 AM
For me, the beauty of Aikido is the journey. The techniques are important, but the learning process is what gives me the most satisfaction and opportunity for reflection. I suppose that on certain occasions I would be tempted to take that magic pill. Some days my back and various other body parts would enjoy a pill for mastering ukemi.
I think that my girlfriend (we are an aikicouple) would be much more likely to take up such an offer. That's only because she is far more goal oriented than I am. I think that it is wonderful that we can derive satisfaction from the same thing in different ways.
03-31-2002, 07:45 AM
One of the greatest science fiction writers of the twentieth century was, in real life, a scientist, school teacher, and writer of many science fact books ... Isaac Asimov. In one of his short stories, he theorizes about implanting memorys, much like the magic pill, into a person by electronic means. Although the skill was there, the turmoil of the emotional self created great conflict, and sometimes was unable to distinguish between the moral implication and the actual use of skills in fighting?
Like most stories, it tried to adapt the laws of robotic behavior to human, but eventually adapted laws that went beyond those laws, which basically outlawed the magic pill. Why?
Human psychi is just not ready to integrate unlearned skills ... it was like having robotic control, a schitzoid personality ... one in control, the other a slave. It also ... never adapted outside these set skills, to learn or change as other situations presented themselves ... probably the greatest danger of skills without experience? Part of our human weakness, and our human strength.
If you want a magic pill, go ahead ... but is that really you doing those perfect moves, or someone else's programed response?
03-31-2002, 08:39 AM
:) It took O-Sensi a life time of experience to create Aikido. If you could take a pill and know how to do the techniques, no pill could never give you the life time of doing Aikido.It's not the goal, it's the journey . :ai: :ki: :do:
03-31-2002, 11:45 AM
I said 'yes'. I said it because even if I learned all the techniques, I would still practice Aikido. I'm here to practice an art, not to become a fighting machine. :) There are also many physics-related and ki-related topics in Aikido that really aren't techniques and you really can't master... such as intention, ukemi, grounding, etc... so I don't think you could ever exhaust those...
03-31-2002, 12:08 PM
If I found a magic lamp, would you rub it?
If you came across a sleeping princess, would you kiss her?
If you could sprinkle pixie dust on your head and fly, would you?
I love questions about ethics with absolutely no basis of reality. My first zen teacher called this "mental masturbation". Sci-fi / Fantasy writers make all sorts of money from thinking about this kind of stuff. And I help feed their families, don't get me wrong.
Show me these magic pills. :confused:
03-31-2002, 12:39 PM
if ypu could take a magic pill to instantly finish an ice cream cone would you?:(
03-31-2002, 04:11 PM
Just one question:
Is mastering the techniques of Aikido the same as mastering Aikido?
:eek: :freaky: :blush:
03-31-2002, 10:39 PM
I voted "yes" on the poll. The reason I am learning Aikido (or trying to learn it) is purely for the "self-defense" part. I have said why in another thread. If I could take a "magic" pill it would be wonderful! It would take a lot of the pressure off for me too. I would still go to class and have a lot of fun. Maybe more than I do now because I wouldn't get those frustrating moments. ;) But since such a pill isn't possible, I suppose I have to go through the long (and sometimes difficult) process of learning like everyone else. Oh well. :cool: Happy Easter!
03-31-2002, 11:11 PM
I'm a little surprised with some of the responses. I think Aikido is all about practice, but the better the mastery of Aikido, the more enjoyable training becomes. Osensei himself never stopped practicing and evolving his art all his life untill his very last days.
I would take that "pill" if it becomes available (Jun, do you have any plans to commercialize it yet? ;) ), but this would not mean that I would stop training, in the countrary, I would increase my usual practice time.
04-01-2002, 01:45 AM
If the pill would just smooth out the bumpy bits I'ld be happy.
Sure its the journey that counts but much better to spend your time honing an already sharp blade.
Truth though - I take drugs only when I absolutely have too - no such thing as a magic pill. Still.......
Did not vote - felt too ambiguous.
04-01-2002, 06:08 AM
It really feels like i'm supposed to say "no" here, but hey sure, what the hell... as long as it really DID work, in that the Aikido mastery became my Aikido mastery, with my own nuances or whatever the heck actually happens when you master Aikido, and also as long as it came with ego-checking.
Then i could focus on perhaps a more interesting struggle (hey maybe even a harder one), learning how to TEACH Aikido. Oh yeah and perhaps chime in on the what-is-the-meanining, ki, harmony blah blah blah discussions without all the mental masturbatory side effects.
Of course, if the pill was widely available then... hmmm... would someone be willing to learn from a master-by-pill as opposed to someone who's been building up his Aikido the proper way, blood, sweat and tears?
04-01-2002, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Robyn Johnson
If I could take a "magic" pill it would be wonderful! It would take a lot of the pressure off for me too. I would still go to class and have a lot of fun. Maybe more than I do now because I wouldn't get those frustrating moments.;)
Originally posted by Edward
I would take that "pill" if it becomes available . . . but this would not mean that I would stop training, in the countrary, I would increase my usual practice time.
I don't understand why you think that being a sudden master of aikido would not make you stop training. Once you've mastered something, it becomes boring to do. Bad analogy: How much time do you spend practicing in those little children's activity books that have you identify colors and what sound each barn-yard animal makes? I would hope not very much (if you are, I think there may be a problem.:p) You know what the names of colors are, and to spend hours and hours reinforcing that in an activity book would be ludicrous, not to mention quite strange. I think that without something to constantly be thinking about and improving, training would become boring and it would be stupid for me to continue to practice.
The enjoyment that we get from aikido is in our improvement. It's really nice to be "in the zone" for a day. True, it's disappointing when we come back and are having problems again, but where would the satisfaction of being good come in if we didn't know what it was like to have a bad day?
Sarah (who enjoys all her little mistakes)
04-01-2002, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by kowey
Then i could focus on perhaps a more interesting struggle (hey maybe even a harder one), learning how to TEACH Aikido.
If everyone is popping ultimate-aikidoka pills, who would want a teacher? :freaky:
04-01-2002, 10:10 AM
If just an Aiki-pill (and none other) was offered to me, I'd take it and eat it. Why? There's 150324 other things to be learned out there. Some of them ARE just as fun. I'd be glad that I'd have at least 1/150324 of it all mastered
04-01-2002, 10:36 AM
How could that be possible when aikido has no techniques?
04-02-2002, 12:50 PM
Magical pill, huh. I'm enjoying the journey of learning aikido, a magic pill would ruin it for me. But...if there was a pill that would teach me to read, write and speak the Japanese language I would take that in a hurry. :p
04-02-2002, 02:28 PM
Just a couple of thoughts about the magic pill idea.
First, I think I would take the pill. Having the immediate mastery for whatever it's worth wouldn't keep me from continuing to practice. It seems like improvement is always possible.
Second, this is pretty much the concept in the science fiction book "Helm" by Steven Gould. This story is what turned me on to the idea of learning and practicing aikido. If you read the story you will note that the so-called magic pill doesn't quite mean immediate mastery.
Anyway, I liked the story a lot and I'm interested to find out what other aikidoka think of it.
04-02-2002, 08:37 PM
If you could take a magical pill to immediately end up at home when you set off on vacation would you take it? Life is oo short to not enjoy the ride. I take aikido not only to have some form of self-defense but to take part in a comminity, make new friends, better myself and spirit and have fun in the process. Aikido is one of the things in life that is a lot more than the end result. Algebra II on the other hand would not be one of those (lots of homework tonight). Just a few thoughts.
04-03-2002, 03:39 AM
It's all about the struggle.
04-03-2002, 07:59 AM
Do we learn/teach from the perfection of our practice, or from the mistakes?
answer: When you learn/teach from perfection you get a hollow mirrow image, but when you learn/ teach from mistakes you become the master.
Some of the best insight to learning is our mistakes.
:ai: :ki: :do:
04-03-2002, 11:04 AM
anyone who would take the magic pill is lazy!:grr:
04-03-2002, 06:34 PM
Magical pill, huh. I'm enjoying the journey of learning aikido, a magic pill would ruin it for me. But...if there was a pill that would teach me to read, write and speak the Japanese language I would take that in a hurry.
I'm all for the japanese magic pill. I'd love to finally be able to understand all of my sensei's explainations. (who knows, that might be just as good as the aikido magic pill)
04-03-2002, 07:36 PM
I'm getting from a lot of the posts a fealing that the journey is all important - a view I share.
However, lets say the pill got us up to let's say Shodan level - what then. Personally I do not equate mastery of technique with mastery of Aikido in that the internalization and spontanious generation (takemasu) are more than the sum of techniques.
Human lives being finite I would rather spend my time working at the higher levels than grubbing around in the dirt.
04-03-2002, 09:33 PM
Well, although it would be very tempting I did vote no. No magic pills. Of corse if they are mass-produced and everyone around me took them that would be another story.
First of all (from my limited experience with Aikido) the techniques are the least important part of Aikido (and the easiest part to learn). To quote from a seminar I took last year: "You can do all of the techniques perfectly and still not do Aikido" I'm not sure anymore who said this, but I'm beginning to see the truth behind these words myself. The techniques are not Aikido, they are just tools to use to do Aikido.
Secondly taking the pill would be great for all of five minutes. If you actually learn Aikido over the course of your life you will have countless moments of "Wow!" Or "Did you actually have to go down? I didn't do anything?" As frustrating as it can be at times I would not want to miss these moments when suddenly something clicks. They usually make my day.
And speaking of a lifetime: I'm 29 years old if I took the pill now... then what? What'll I do with myself for the rest of my life? If there were nothing left to learn I don't think I would continue to practice for the next 40 or 50 years. What would be the point? I'd already know it all. Start something else? Be a white belt again? No thank you!
04-04-2002, 04:54 AM
Hmmm... I only started aikido three months ago but all I can say is that practice and my own mistakes are only what's really important. Aikido is not magic; so no magic pill will help a person whose approach is purely formalistic. Someone here wrote about working "at the higher levels" and "grubbing around in the dirt"... There seems to be quite a bit of snobbishness and contempt in these words. I believe that everyone's got a mission in this life. You've got to make an effort, a fantastic lot of efforts, to try to complete it (that, if you finally come to realize what it is ).:p Skipping a part of it would nullify all of your previous work and only make it harder fo you. Cheating does no good.
04-04-2002, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by Aleks Telin
Hmmm... I only started aikido three months ago but all I can say is that practice and my own mistakes are only what's really important. Someone here wrote about working "at the higher levels" and "grubbing around in the dirt"... There seems to be quite a bit of snobbishness and contempt in these words.
Well that was me and I am really sorry you read that into what I was saying. Personally speaking I am still in the dirt but no longer on my hands and knees.
Try to look at it this way. How fast you learn anything is based on a combination of you, your peers and your teacher. If your teacher's knowledge is limited you will be hindered, if everyone around you are beginners you will be hindered. Once you get past the gross movements there is still an entire world of nuance and internalization. I personally would rather be in the latter world.
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