View Full Version : Finding answers ...

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Bruce Baker
04-17-2002, 05:34 AM
Should you look outside your Aikido class or practice to find an answer when the answers of "It is Traditional", continued practice, and train-train-train do not yield the answers?

Ghost Fox
04-17-2002, 05:50 AM
Maybe we should look inside through Misogi and Meditation practices.

Sometimes I think we train not so much for the answers, but for the moment when the questions no longer becomes important. Maybe thats how we find the peace we are looking for. :(

:triangle: :circle: :square:

04-17-2002, 09:21 AM
You should look outside if the teacher answers just like this and you think it is enough. HOWEVER... as I have had to work alot with beginners because my sensei trusts me I'm compentent and says I "have a good mouth" Then I have had a lots of explaining to do now and then. I've not yet experienced a question to which I could not answer:
"It is traditional AND of course ...(useful/beautiful blah blah)
"continued practice BECAUSE/OR..."
"train, train, train OR ELSE/AND/BECAUSE..."

If even those answers do not satisfy you then you are doing the wrong art. However many senseis (as mine) do not like long talks on several reasons (they think it is appropriate, they are lazy, they think Aikido can not be described with words etc etc.) And the Daodejing citates that "Those who know won't talk, those who talk don't know..."

That's why my sensei let's me do the talking;)

We have a saying in estonia that "a fool can ask more questions than seven wisemen can answer" Quite true that is...

Anyhow: I think that all the questions during the training SHOULD find an answer which contains enough information to satisfy the asker. These short answer samples Bruce provided us with, often do not (for a typical beginner-western-mind of course). But as I said... they can be said much more longer and more convincingly:)

If even THAT does not satisfy you then quit doing Aikido...

Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

Lyle Bogin
04-17-2002, 11:39 AM
I am wondering what kind of answers we are looking for.

It is my impression that martial arts training should provide you with a framework of concepts from which you experiment and reveal your own answers.

I prefer to learn suggestions, rather than actual answers. Suggestions imply a living flexibilty. Answers imply a static, dead fact.

04-18-2002, 07:00 AM
You should look outside if the teacher answers just like this and you think it is enough.

I meant of course IT ITS NOT enough...

Anyway I agree with Lyle...
You can present facts and try to explain that but MA generally is a framework of concepts which you adopt or not adopt...


Bruce Baker
04-20-2002, 01:45 PM
My first Karate teachers "teacher" demanded absolute loyalty with students learning only from him as the Sensei, even though he was exploring other martial arts and bringing back new and different techniques as time progressed.

When my first teacher taught at his own school, he asked students to learn all the basics of the system, but keep an open mind with other techniques brought back from Judo, jujitsu, and Aikido.

There are many who write in these threads who preach that students should not look away from their teachers for any outside studies, while they have long lists of exploring other types of martial arts, or train with other friends of martial arts.

Are you of the thought that your teacher can study and bring back clarity to all your training of Aikido, or should you look elsewhere to amend your studies with outside research and practice to provide clarity to your questions?

It's a big, big world. More books and videos, and learning programs are marketed every day.

Is it correct to absorb, question, and discuss this knowledge with your aikido teacher or classmates?

Or have you been taught not to go outside your present Aikido teachers lessons?

If you have trained with different teachers, what did they expect from you as a student?

04-20-2002, 09:58 PM
I have found that some schools are kind of odd in that the teachers don't teach. Upper belts do a technique and leave it to you and your white belt buddy to figure it out as best you can. If your questions are about application or confusion on a technique then I am of the impression that the Sensei, or a high ranking person should provide those answeres. And if the teacher can't answere the question, or a student can find a way for the technique not to work then it must be removed or modified. Nothing stays the same...not even martial arts. There are principles that guide us but Aikido continues to evolve. A student should not fear the teacher. As for seeking outside advise, I feel you should ask your Sensei first, but if your Sensei doesn't know then it should be your Sensei's job to find it. If he tells you not to worry about it or punishes your for asking a question then he isn't a good teacher. There is no blind faith in martial arts. All techniques must have a practical application and if they can't be shown to you then why practice them? I will say stay true to the Budo though...there must be a base.

Daniel Beatty

Bruce Baker
04-27-2002, 04:57 PM
I was not looking for personal advice. I have a very open dialog with all my teachers, past and present.

If you are thinking that is what is needed for a remedy, then you should examine your own situation as to being able to walk away at any given moment from your present teacher?

Having the freedom to stay or go, being able to talk to your teacher off the mat as a human being, is the reality that someday you must rely upon yourself. Maybe Aiki realization?

The question I was asking was for those of you across the country and around the world to share your experiences with encountering specific types of teachers, even with other than Aikido training, and if you had the where with all to find knowledge outside of that teachers restrictions?

If you did become aware of learning restrictions, did you leave or stay with that teacher?

Or ... look elsewhere?

I know most of the Aikido teachers I have met to be very lenient, but then again I have only met three dozen or so in my travels?

Lyle Bogin
05-01-2002, 11:25 AM
I have encountered the open minded true JKDer.
And stuck around until I moved away.

I have encountered the closed minded cultist, questioned him/her, and been thrown out.

I have encountered the strong willed personality, who feels his own value to the point of feeling like his students must fall exactly into place or they can get out and will be easily replaced, and been politely excused.

I have encounter the strong old man, who keeps to himself and expects mutual respect, and I still train under him.

More interesting I think are the people you train with along the way. The guys who try to kill you (or at least maim you or "teach you a lesson"), or convert you, or instuct you...and those whom you knock out, or learn an invaluable lesson from...the old timers, the new comers, the total doubters and the true believers.....those who are really masters themselves, hidden under their humility..those who brag about their victories, then fall easily...the big guys, the little guys, the tough women, the weak men...the ones who can do jedi mind tricks, the ones who can't even pay attention for 2 minutes...the fat guy who hangs around the sensei and bitches about your technique, the guy who never says a word...the pramatic russian, the asian whom everyone assumes must be good, the college kid who comes to practice stoned...

I've seen these folks in many places, and they're all a big part of what ever it is I have learned.

A dojo is not just about the head sensei. Everyone there is your instructor if you allow them to be.

05-01-2002, 12:21 PM
I've seen these folks in many places, and they're all a big part of what ever it is I have learned.

A dojo is not just about the head sensei. Everyone there is your instructor if you allow them to be.

Yeah , second that.. that's what Soshin is to me.

Thankfully the people I practice with are diverse and at many levels. Both Sensei are open to all comers and keep a soft grip on the class. I've had to get over myself a bunch of times and its good that way.