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guest1234567
10-11-2010, 02:41 AM
Niall Matthews wrote it in another thread and I agree with him.
Aikido is a way of life.
I'm new here and perhaps you treat this item before. I hope I can explain what I mean, in spanish or german it would be easier for me, it is a challenge to do it in english and I know that stepwise I will refresh this language again.
In our first aikidoclasses we are confused trying to understand anything between the rare movements and the strange words.
But after a few years we realize that the movements give sense and we notice a change in our behaviour, we become much calmer, organized and see every problem from a certain distance.
As a shodan we get a responsibility as a person, a human beeing in all our acts and our behaviour during the rest of our life.

lbb
10-11-2010, 07:18 AM
"A way of life"? What does that mean? Does it mean that you live in a dojo? Does it mean that you give up your job and become an uchideshi?

WilliB
10-11-2010, 07:48 AM
"A way of life"? What does that mean? Does it mean that you live in a dojo? Does it mean that you give up your job and become an uchideshi?

:-)

New-age pontificating about how aiki all your life is getting, I`d rather expect, wouldn`t you?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 07:48 AM
As a shodan we get a responsibility as a person, a human beeing in all our acts and our behaviour during the rest of our life.

Carina, pleaaaaase! This is not the 'aikiflorum'.

niall
10-11-2010, 08:03 AM
...we notice a change in our behaviour, we become much calmer, organized and see every problem from a certain distance.

That's a nice description, Carina. Wow! Some negativity coming out, though! Don't worry about it.

Aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life. If you want to be, of course. Some people may not want to be and that's cool too.

dps
10-11-2010, 08:24 AM
Niall Matthews wrote it in another thread and I agree with him.
Aikido is a way of life.
I'm new here and perhaps you treat this item before. I hope I can explain what I mean, in spanish or german it would be easier for me, it is a challenge to do it in english and I know that stepwise I will refresh this language again.
In our first aikidoclasses we are confused trying to understand anything between the rare movements and the strange words.
But after a few years we realize that the movements give sense and we notice a change in our behaviour, we become much calmer, organized and see every problem from a certain distance.
As a shodan we get a responsibility as a person, a human beeing in all our acts and our behaviour during the rest of our life.

I think you expressed yourself very well and I understand and agree with what you are saying.

But it does not happen to everyone who does Aikido.

David

lbb
10-11-2010, 08:30 AM
Aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life. If you want to be, of course. Some people may not want to be and that's cool too.

I hear it also cures male pattern baldness and bad breath, too.

I'm going to turn the question back to you, Niall. If people don't see aikido as a "way of life" (or even, like me, ask what that is supposed to mean), why do you assume that that means that they simply "don't want" all this groovy wonderfulness? Maybe we're skeptical -- and maybe with good reason; grandiose claims are a dime a dozen in the martial arts. Questioning them is prudent.

So I ask again: what makes aikido a "way of life"? Do you have to give up your job and your family and become a full-time live-in student? If you don't, how can you call it a "way of life"? For those of us who don't live in the dojo, aikido does not prescribe the answer to many of our day to day situations. I've got to write some marketing junk for work today -- I'm not going to learn how to do that in the dojo. After work, I've got to clean out my shed, and despite the protestations of those who believe that every step they take is tai sabaki and every movement they make is an aikido technique...it isn't, it's just cleaning a shed. I could work a broom before I ever walked in a dojo, and the dojo hasn't taught me how to do it better or differently.

Why is there a need to fancy up the activities of daily living with this aikido embroidery? Why is there a need to imagine aikido as a "way of life"?

"'Let's work without theorizing,' sais Martin; 'It's the only way to make life bearable.'"

- Candide

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 08:33 AM
"A way of life"? What does that mean? Does it mean that you live in a dojo? Does it mean that you give up your job and become an uchideshi?
hahaha, no I don't live in a dojo
For me it is a way of life as a deeper sense, to act like you are a shodan always, at home and at work, it is very difficult for me to explain it, I think only Niall understood what I tried to explain..
Demetrio I know this is not the aikiforum but my thoughts and feeling are the same. I am very impressed of the knowledge the people who are writing here have, also yours. I'm here to learn :)
It is very interesting to read all you write, I told this a virtual friend from Caracas, maybe it encourages him to register also..
sunny regards from the island of the eternal spring:)

niall
10-11-2010, 08:58 AM
Hi, Mary. I said that aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life. That's pretty simple - not fancy at all. That centredness is there if you want it. If you don't - hey, it's your life. I don't want to convince you of anything. If aikido ends at the dojo door for you that's cool. But one day you might surprise yourself. If you keep doing aikido I'm pretty sure you will. Regards, Niall

Aikibu
10-11-2010, 09:36 AM
It's a way of life for me too. :) And considering all the wonderful choices I have as an American like for example,,, Tea Party Hater...Ignorant Stooge of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh...John Wayne Pretender...it's a really good choice LOL

There are so many illusions in the world that folks can cling to in order to give their life meaning Aikido can be one of those (aka the thread on "Japanizing") but hey who said the process of becoming who you are isn't full of delusion? :)

Good Luck and perhaps we'll run into each other as we travel the same journey. :)

William Hazen

Marc Abrams
10-11-2010, 09:53 AM
I prefer to practice fantasy, non-organic, politically incorrect Aikido in my sleep on the sixth Sunday of every month outside of the dojo :confused: .

Marc Abrams

Flintstone
10-11-2010, 10:11 AM
Is Aikido's "way of life" better than chess' way of life, or flight attendant's way of life, or clerk's way of life? Why is that Aikido is that magical thinggy? Oh, yes. Because that's what we do.

If you played bolleyball then bolleyball would be a way of life. How new age. Don't play aikiflorum here, Carina. Please.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 10:31 AM
For me it is a way of life as a deeper sense, to act like you are a shodan always, at home and at work, it is very difficult for me to explain it,

Hakama superpowers activate!!!

niall
10-11-2010, 10:34 AM
Wow all the people who don't want us to be relaxed or centred in our lives. If people want to post their views of aikido that's cool. That's what the forums are for. Mary doesn't agree but at least she's trying to understand and is asking serious questions. What's all the negative stuff? And sarcasm. Not much harmony going on there then. And not giving a very warm welcome to a new member. Well as long as you have a laugh.

Just so I know are all you guys trying to tell me that you do aikido and you don't feel centred in your life? Maybe there are more efficient ways to train.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 10:59 AM
Niall, you're reaching conclusions without having all the data.

mathewjgano
10-11-2010, 11:04 AM
:-)

New-age pontificating about how aiki all your life is getting, I`d rather expect, wouldn`t you?

I took it to mean "[Authentic] aikido is not just for the dojo" and can shape our lives in at least a few ways.

...what makes aikido a "way of life"?
Speaking for myself of course, I think a way of life is anything which provides guiding principles we use to shape our lives. For me, skiing is just as much a way of life as aikido. Of course they're pretty different. Aikido is far more formalized and codefied, but they both serve as great lenses to apply to the solitary path that is this life of mine.

WilliB
10-11-2010, 11:05 AM
It's a way of life for me too. :) And considering all the wonderful choices I have as an American like for example,,, Tea Party Hater...Ignorant Stooge of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh...John Wayne Pretender...it's a really good choice LOL

There are even better choices... you could be an educated connossiur of Ed Schulz, a Keith Olberman lover, a deep Chris Matthews thinker, an Obama youth corps organizers... life offers so much. Why dispair?

mathewjgano
10-11-2010, 11:14 AM
Wow all the people who don't want us to be relaxed or centred in our lives.

I don't get the sense folks are saying this, but I would agree there is always an interesting amount of cynicism that goes with topics like this. My meager opinion is that it's largely a matter of taste in rhetoric...I'm betting no one would disagree with the specific examples that were provided, though they might offer counter-points as a cautionary device.

lbb
10-11-2010, 11:44 AM
Wow all the people who don't want us to be relaxed or centred in our lives.

And:

Just so I know are all you guys trying to tell me that you do aikido and you don't feel centred in your life? .

That's an assumptive question if ever there is one. People have questions about (or disagreements with) OP's statement that if you're doing "real aikido", you're also doing it outside the dojo...and you decide this is tantamount to stating that they don't feel centered in their lives and don't want to. Do you see where this can scrape people the wrong way?

lbb
10-11-2010, 11:46 AM
Speaking for myself of course, I think a way of life is anything which provides guiding principles we use to shape our lives. For me, skiing is just as much a way of life as aikido.

But you've only got one life. So which is your "way of life": aikido or skiing?

Aikibu
10-11-2010, 11:57 AM
There are even better choices... you could be an educated connossiur of Ed Schulz, a Keith Olberman lover, a deep Chris Matthews thinker, an Obama youth corps organizers... life offers so much. Why dispair?

Who's despairing? LOL I practice Aikido as a way of life. :D

Life is lived in color not black and white...:)

William Hazen

mathewjgano
10-11-2010, 12:30 PM
But you've only got one life. So which is your "way of life": aikido or skiing?

I would describe them both as being aspects of my way of life. One doesn't necessarily preclude the other...or maybe more to the point, it depends on the situation as to which might. I would argue everyone has a unique expression of any given way, which implies to me that all ways of life are subservient to individual way of life.
So in other words, i don't think one has to devote one's life to aikido to include aikido as "a" way of life...never mind periods of time where one might simply want to make it the only "way" they try to emulate.

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 01:20 PM
Coming back from office and I finding all this posts:).
It is normal that most of you don't understand and a pity to realize that you are practising that long but probably will never understand.
Niall,David, William, Mathew thank you for your understanding, in the often named Aikiforum there was only one who understood, but he travels almost every year to Japan:):
Demetrio, I'sorry you don't understand me, you are a teacher and have a great knowledge, maybe lack of sensibility.
Alejandro repeat what Demetrio already wrote, lack of imagination and I don't think you will ever understand:(
And Mary I'll try to explain in your words:Do you have to give up your job and your family and become a full-time live-in student? No Mary making Aikido a way of life you will do your job better, you will become centredness, also atending your family, not getting nervous when everybody wants something from you as fast as possible, you will do one thing after the other, will order them by priority. Perhaps if you ask me more things I can explain better:)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 01:33 PM
Demetrio, I'sorry you don't understand me, you are a teacher and have a great knowledge, maybe lack of sensibility.
I understand you, that's why I'm your 警策

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 01:38 PM
Demetrio pls translate:)
And Mary one more example what we are doing here is also aikido,
one party attacking and the others defending:) with words. It is now clear for you ?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 01:43 PM
Demetrio pls translate:)
You have to find the answer by your own means. Walk the way. No spoonfeeding.

Marc Abrams
10-11-2010, 01:49 PM
Carina:

Have you ever considered that the phrase "real Aikido" is a loaded one that can mean a lot of nothing. I think that it is safe to assume that you had never met with, or trained with the founder of Aikido. At best, your interpretation of what "real Aikido" means is simply your own - based of course upon your own life experiences, teachers, .....

You pontificate from what position in assuming what people understand or not understand of Aikido? Aikido can mean many things to many people. It should be safe to assume that you are in no position of knowledge or authority to talk about what people know or don't know about Aikido.

I am happy that your practice of Aikido has been a positive transformational process for you. Many people, myself included, would also describe that as being a positive aspect of Aikido. That being said, I don't try and tell people what "real Aikido" is or is not to other people. At the end of the day, Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Many of us have listened to a variety of psycho-babble, new-age nonsense, ....... to people whose execution (or lack thereof) of this art is as best, lacking. These people are typically the one's who wax poetic with wonderful statements. Maybe you would be better off talking about what Aikido is to you, rather than trying to pontificate as to what it should be for others.

Just my 2 cents.

Marc Abrams

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 01:55 PM
Carina:

Have you ever considered that the phrase "real Aikido" is a loaded one that can mean a lot of nothing. I think that it is safe to assume that you had never met with, or trained with the founder of Aikido. At best, your interpretation of what "real Aikido" means is simply your own - based of course upon your own life experiences, teachers, .....

You pontificate from what position in assuming what people understand or not understand of Aikido? Aikido can mean many things to many people. It should be safe to assume that you are in no position of knowledge or authority to talk about what people know or don't know about Aikido.

I am happy that your practice of Aikido has been a positive transformational process for you. Many people, myself included, would also describe that as being a positive aspect of Aikido. That being said, I don't try and tell people what "real Aikido" is or is not to other people. At the end of the day, Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Many of us have listened to a variety of psycho-babble, new-age nonsense, ....... to people whose execution (or lack thereof) of this art is as best, lacking. These people are typically the one's who wax poetic with wonderful statements. Maybe you would be better off talking about what Aikido is to you, rather than trying to pontificate as to what it should be for others.

Just my 2 cents.

Marc Abrams

Your are right Marc, it is only my feeling, I don't know what the founder felt as real aikido. I' m sorry if I sounded that way...

And Demetrio you are not playing fair;), I don't understand kanjis...

Gorgeous George
10-11-2010, 02:07 PM
There might be those who go to aikido classes, practice being relaxed, having good posture, not resisting, and moving naturally - and then as soon as they leave, they become tense, slouch, and confrontational; thus completely undermining everything they did at class.
This is counter-productive - why should such a person bother training? Surely they should participate in an activity that fits in with their general attitude/disposition?

So it is quite easy for me to understand when people say that they are always practicing/training in aikido: it just means to me that they try to stay relaxed; have a good posture; and not be confrontational, or tense up when something stands in their way.
General principles make a system what it is - aikido is no different, and the martial techniques are only one way of expressing the principles of aikido.

mathewjgano
10-11-2010, 02:12 PM
...which implies to me that all ways of life are subservient to individual way of life.


Sorry, should be, "...all codified ways of life..."


also, what Graham said.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 02:13 PM
And Demetrio you are not playing fair;)
In budo, like in real life, there is not fair play. Fair play is for sport.

I don't understand kanjis...
Nor me.

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 02:23 PM
In budo, like in real life, there is not fair play. Fair play is for sport.
right..

And don't worry I won't fall asleep:)

niall
10-11-2010, 02:36 PM
If a fire starts in my house hopefully I'll be able to make the right decisions to get my family to safety. Without panicking and without becoming tense (as Graham said). And aikido will have helped. Staying centred, breathing deeply and slowly, and staying relaxed but alert in any emergency. That's all stuff I get from aikido. It's kind of funny that people think it wouldn't help.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 02:42 PM
If a fire starts in my house hopefully I'll be able to make the right decisions to get my family to safety. Without panicking and without becoming tense (as Graham said). And aikido will have helped. Staying centred, breathing deeply and slowly, and staying relaxed but alert in any emergency. That's all stuff I get from aikido. It's kind of funny that people think it wouldn't help.

I had various courses with real fire (under professional fire dept members supervision) for that. Silly me.

Gorgeous George
10-11-2010, 03:08 PM
I had various courses with real fire (under professional fire dept members supervision) for that. Silly me.

...yeah: fuck you Niall! How dare you suggest that your life-long devotion to remaining calm might help in a stresful situation - your very suggestion explicitly states that if you have done specific courses about what to do in such situations then you are wrong, because aikido is the only way! How dare you!!!1!!:grr: :grr: :grr:
If a fire ever happens, youse a dead man Niall!

Hahahahahaha.

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 03:11 PM
I had various courses with real fire (under professional fire dept members supervision) for that. Silly me.
Are for all people here the 警策?

Josh Reyer
10-11-2010, 03:16 PM
I had various courses with real fire (under professional fire dept members supervision) for that. Silly me.
Do you have courses for every possible event that might befall?

In social psychology (research psychology, that is; the hard stuff, not the psycho-analysis), there is a term: the bystander effect. It describes the tendency of people not to respond to some of emergency, or render aid to an ailing person, when there are many other people present.

I learned of this when I studied psychology in college, and assumed that having armed myself with knowledge, I would not fall prey to the kind of mental autopilot that kicks in and causes the bystander effect.

A couple years later, I was in a library in Toyota City, sitting at a table and reading. I heard a crash from my left, turned, and saw that a little boy, maybe 2 or 3 years old was falling down an escalator. An up escalator. He was falling from step-to-step, but because it was going up, he wasn't falling down, nor was it happening at the expected pace. It would look like he'd landed on one step and stop, and just when you thought it was over he would, almost in slow motion, roll and fall to the next step.

Immediately I stood up, determined to do something. At that very same moment, a woman behind me also stood up. And we canceled each other out. She thought I'd do something; I thought she'd do something, and we both froze, stupidly, like statues. Eventually (it seemed like hours, but it was probably 1 or 2 seconds) one of the library staff ran over and stopped the escalator, while the boy's negligent mother ran up the escalator to get her boy.

Naturally, when it was over, I was shaken, sick to my stomach, and grossly ashamed of my inability to act. I knew about the bystander effect, and I still let it take me.

So, I train. I train with the intention of learning to control my mind and body under stress, and I endeavor, like Niall, to bring what I get out of training with me out of the dojo, into everyday life. I don't train to handle possible muggers or burglars, or rough hooligans looking to make trouble. I train for earthquakes, typhoons, people collapsing in the street, old men choking on mochi, snotty kids making trouble in my class, and babies falling down up escalators. There are courses I can take; first aid and CPR, earthquake and typhoon safety, class management. But all that is word and memory based knowledge. What I train in the dojo is the ability to utilize such knowledge, under stress, unexpectedly, in any situation.

I don't know if my training will help me if another such unusual event. And there are other paths; I could have joined the military, law enforcement, or the fire department. But I have other priorities that make those impractical, so I chose to train in budo. Also, because budo inherently deals with human interaction, I find it also relevant to my relationships at home and work. That's what I think of when I think of using aikido outside the dojo, in daily life. I suspect it's what Niall and Carina think of. "Aikido outside the dojo" can be fluffy, new age-y navel-gazing, or it can be as practical as you want it to be. The conscious improvement in my posture has made my clothes fit better; that's almost worth it by itself.

guest1234567
10-11-2010, 03:24 PM
Do you have courses for every possible event that might befall?

. There are courses I can take; first aid and CPR, earthquake and typhoon safety, class management. But all that is word and memory based knowledge. What I train in the dojo is the ability to utilize such knowledge, under stress, unexpectedly, in any situation.

I don't know if my training will help me if another such unusual event. And there are other paths; I could have joined the military, law enforcement, or the fire department. But I have other priorities that make those impractical, so I chose to train in budo. Also, because budo inherently deals with human interaction, I find it also relevant to my relationships at home and work. That's what I think of when I think of using aikido outside the dojo, in daily life. I suspect it's what Niall and Carina think of. "Aikido outside the dojo" can be fluffy, new age-y navel-gazing, or it can be as practical as you want it to be. The conscious improvement in my posture has made my clothes fit better; that's almost worth it by itself.

Demetrio you can go to as much courses you like, there are only that a course during what period? a few days or weeks, if you don't practice and refresh it, you will forget it.
You cannot compare what aikido give us with any course.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-11-2010, 05:41 PM
Are for all people here the 警策?
I also have a 木剣

Josh, when something similar happened to me I also was shaken, sick to my stomach, but proud of my ability to act and save the life of a choking young lady. You had knowledge about bystander effect, I had training in emergencies.YMMV.

I don't know how you train but I find you (as someone with psychology studies who should know about desensitation and stress inoculation) considering aikido practise on par with firefighting/emergencies training from a stress level perspective or stress coping skills adquisition a bit strange. Not counting the technical knowledge needed to face an emergency which aikido (maybe its not your case) doesn't provide.

Being "centered" and having good posture is not going to help if you don't know what to do and how to solve the problem.

lbb
10-11-2010, 05:47 PM
That's all stuff I get from aikido. It's kind of funny that people think it wouldn't help.

Another strawman. Who said it wouldn't help?

I'm sorry, I still see a big gap between "can help you in other areas of your life" and "a way of life". I also don't have any trouble standing up to those who engage in new-age bullying of the "if you don't agree with me, then it's because you don't get it, and if you don't get it, it's because you lack aiki" sort. So I'm going to keep on pointing out this gap whenever someone pretends it doesn't exist.

lbb
10-11-2010, 05:51 PM
Do you have courses for every possible event that might befall?

In social psychology (research psychology, that is; the hard stuff, not the psycho-analysis), there is a term: the bystander effect. It describes the tendency of people not to respond to some of emergency, or render aid to an ailing person, when there are many other people present.

There are many types of training that teach people not to be paralyzed in these situations. Military training, public safety training, EMS, rescue of all kinds -- all these train constantly in situations that are quite a bit more stressful than what you find at the average dojo, for all that you know it's "only a drill" (the trainers are very, very good at making it real). I think this type of ability is not only not unique to aikido, but probably taught better elsewhere than an aikido dojo.

niall
10-11-2010, 10:16 PM
Another strawman. Who said it wouldn't help?

Mary you did. I said

Aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life.

Which you quoted and you said, I hear it also cures male pattern baldness and bad breath, too. (well let's hope so!)

As Josh explained clearly and most people understand the composure you develop from budo training will help you outside the dojo. The techniques may or may not. Probably not. I've been doing aikido for nearly thirty years and I have used an aikido technique once (on a guy who tried to punch a woman). But I use the composure I get from my training every day.

So what are you arguing about? Carina's words that it's a way of life? She's talking about her aikido. You know nothing about it. My words are at the top of this thread: real aikido is not just for the dojo (which was advice to a guy who was being aggressive in the forums).

It's cool for you or anyone else to say they are not interested in that aspect. But don't tell me what aikido is for me. That's intellectually arrogant.

WilliB
10-11-2010, 11:10 PM
Carina:

Have you ever considered that the phrase "real Aikido" is a loaded one that can mean a lot of nothing.

And I thought "Real Aikido" is the trademarked invention of one Ljubomir Vracarevic, and the "first and only Serbian ultimate self-defense art". Nice coat of arms, too:

http://www.realaikido.com/Welcome.html

Gives a new twist to this ultimate thread :eek:

guest1234567
10-12-2010, 01:29 AM
I also have a 木剣



I also have one but only use it in the dojo for training:)

raul rodrigo
10-12-2010, 01:52 AM
NIce post, Niall.

Josh Reyer
10-12-2010, 02:24 AM
Josh, when something similar happened to me I also was shaken, sick to my stomach, but proud of my ability to act and save the life of a choking young lady. You had knowledge about bystander effect, I had training in emergencies.YMMV.My point in telling the story was not that training in emergencies is not effective, but that life can throw you crazy things. There are courses for helping choking victims; they can drill over and over the same basic commonalities of all choking victims, and even some unusual, but predictable situations. But there's no course for escalator-falling-baby-saving. One either has the wherewithal to do something or doesn't. But the falling-baby is an extreme example.

I don't know how you train but I find you (as someone with psychology studies who should know about desensitation and stress inoculation) considering aikido practise on par with firefighting/emergencies training from a stress level perspective or stress coping skills adquisition a bit strange. Not counting the technical knowledge needed to face an emergency which aikido (maybe its not your case) doesn't provide.

I think you are making a number of unwarranted assumptions from my post. Number 1 is that I consider aikido practice "on par" with firefighting/emergencies training. I would hazard that faced with a medical/rescue emergency, a trained (and experienced) fireman or EMT would be loads better prepared than an aikidoka. And yet, I would expect a properly trained aikidoka to be better than the average Joe with no emergency training or budo training. And I daresay a fireman or EMT who properly trained in aikido might even been be better prepared than their non-training counterpart (but that is where mileage really varies). And then this all comes down to the quality of practice. I would expect any martial art that called itself martial and utilized two-man practice to be able to create an adrenaline dump greater than the average non-training man experiences in his regular day. And this is not some "budo magic" or superpower that you get from just training. You have to approach your training and your regular life from this perspective. You have to walk on to subways taking note of where the emergency door openers are, the intercoms to the driver's cab, the car fire extinguisher. You have to make note of fire exits when you go to a building. You have to try and bring your awareness on the mat to your daily life.

Assumption #2 is that I'm saying training in aikido gives you Universal Disaster skills. Nothing could be further from the truth. The idea is that proper training (and attitude off the mat) can help stave off panic, confusion, fear, or such psychological phenomena as the bystander effect or deindividuation. I train not with the expectation that I will suddenly know what to do in an emergency situation, but with the hope that I will know what I can do, and be mentally and physically prepared to execute it. Even if that's just doing what I can to allow the guys with the high-level emergency training to do their jobs, and not get in their way because I'm panicked, confused, and afraid.

Assumption #3 is that the above is all I'm talking about when I talk about budo as part of one's life off the mat. As I wrote in my previous post, there are many ways to prepare oneself to handle unexpected, high-stress, high-adrenaline, dangerous events. In addition to various emergency/military/LEO training programs, the above could probably be gained to a degree by boxing, wrestling, or fencing. But what sets budo apart from these other activities are inherent philosophical strategies for dealing with the world. That's why they are called budo -- they are michi, they are inherently meant to be ways of life. That's the very concept of michi. They contain moral and ethical precepts to guide the student to proper behavior. If I attempt to embody these precepts in my daily life, much like I do with mental and physical "readiness" mentioned above, again, the hope is that I will be able to remain calm, clear, and able to perceive the wisest course of action in a confusing and unclear world. That's the Platonic (or perhaps Gautamic) Ideal, striven for but not always reached. But then, that's why it's called a road, and not a goal.

This is what my particular budo gives to me off the mat: a healthier, freer moving body, calm in high-stress situations, a set of ethics to follow, strategies for dealing with people for mutual benefit, strength of will to do things I'd rather put off, and not to do things I shouldn't, a social circle to care for and be cared by, an opportunity to expand my understanding of Japanese language and culture, and a roadmap for living a life engaged with the world.

Sure, I could get any one of those things from some other source, and possibly to an even fuller degree. But since they are all available in the training of budo to a degree I am satisfied with, I do budo and endeavor to make it part of my life. Most of my life is spent outside the dojo, anyway; might as well get the most out of that dojo time as I can.

There are many types of training that teach people not to be paralyzed in these situations. Military training, public safety training, EMS, rescue of all kinds -- all these train constantly in situations that are quite a bit more stressful than what you find at the average dojo, for all that you know it's "only a drill" (the trainers are very, very good at making it real). I think this type of ability is not only not unique to aikido, but probably taught better elsewhere than an aikido dojo.

I don't know if my training will help me if another such unusual event. And there are other paths; I could have joined the military, law enforcement, or the fire department. But I have other priorities that make those impractical, so I chose to train in budo. Also, because budo inherently deals with human interaction, I find it also relevant to my relationships at home and work.

I'm not sure that anyone in this thread has claimed that aikido is unique (I for one have only been using the more generalized term of "budo". Nor has anyone claimed that aikido is the best path to this, to the best of my knowledge, and I specifically mentioned the military/law enforcement/fire department as alternative paths, a statement you cut when quoting my post, but then rephrased yourself. The overall point being, aikido is a medium; it's not the message.

CarlRylander
10-12-2010, 07:03 AM
What do people think of the Dalai Lama's recent statement that sleep was a good way of meditating?

lbb
10-12-2010, 08:03 AM
Mary you did. I said

Aikido helps you become centred, relaxed and aware in all aspects of your life.

Which you quoted and you said, I hear it also cures male pattern baldness and bad breath, too. (well let's hope so!)

Ok. I'm still waiting to for you to quote the part where I said that aikido training can't help you in your life off the mat.

So what are you arguing about? Carina's words that it's a way of life? She's talking about her aikido. You know nothing about it.

Others have pointed this out, so I won't belabor the point, but she didn't say "my aikido", although that may be what she meant. In her original post, she said "real aikido". Currently, you are putting words in her mouth, and in mine as well.

It's cool for you or anyone else to say they are not interested in that aspect. But don't tell me what aikido is for me. That's intellectually arrogant.

Aaaaand another strawman, as I have not done that nor anything like it.

niall
10-12-2010, 08:26 AM
Mary I'm not interested in arguing with you. If you have doubts talk to your teacher. If you don't well that's cool. Good luck in your training.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-12-2010, 10:14 AM
I think you aref making a number of unwarranted assumptions from my post.
Yes, I did some unwarranted asumptions from your post. I only hope what budo is giving to you are not as unwarranted.

As you say, life can throw you crazy things and, paraphrasing Threadgill Sensei, the only accurate assumption in budo is that your assumptions are never 100% correct.

On budo as a michi: IMO, life is the michi, budo is a tool (a useful one, but not the only one, not the best for all the tasks) for walking it. I think we should not confuse the map (budo) with the territory (life).

Anyway, you're satisfied. Thats what really matters, isn't it?

mathewjgano
10-12-2010, 11:23 AM
What do people think of the Dalai Lama's recent statement that sleep was a good way of meditating?

Was he talking about lucid dreaming? In which case I think that's one of the best times to meditate! A real off-mat (ideally :D) time saver.


Also: what Josh said! I wish I were so eloquent.
Take care folks!

jonreading
10-12-2010, 11:53 AM
Niall Matthews wrote it in another thread and I agree with him.
Aikido is a way of life.

1. I would probably argue that very few of us actually incorporate aikido as a way of life. Usually, its something like a way of life 2-3 times a week and maybe during flashing points of introspection during the week. However, do not discount incorporating aikido into your life as a goal, which you occasionally achieve.

2. I think also we run the risk of assuming that aikido is a substitute for the other training that we need in our lives. Look through the various thread archives for numerous references to substitute fixes from PTSD to rape counseling to human resources. Aikido is not the appropriate substitute for proper situational training, it is a tool which allows us to better educate and execute our lives.

I believe aikido helps us to better control our bodies, our emotions, our minds, and our surroundings. I don't know if that constitutes a way of life, but it certainly improves our quality of life.

Kevin Leavitt
10-12-2010, 12:27 PM
Jon, has summed up very well my personal thoughts on this thread as I read through them. Not that I disagree with things others have said, there is alot of good material.

A couple of things come to mind from my past experiences (and present right now as I am actively in a combat zone...not that that really matters much in the greater scheme of this discussion, nor does it make me an expert on this topic...but this has been a topic that is fresh on my mind).

1. Martial Arts or Aikido will make you "better" prepared. IME, sure, do a degree that logic is true, however, it can also make you "worse".

Studied for 12 years or so in traditional systems, then started met some guys in the Army that did not share the same paradigm of training than I did. The dissonance I experienced left me in utter defeat in the fetal position trying to figure out what I did wrong or why I could not beat a guy that had only been studying "martial arts" for 4 months.

Why? what I had studied had simply not prepared me to deal with the paradigm of more realistic fighting as I had thought it had. Sure I could have been more calm or understood maybe a slight bit better than someone that had not studied as long as I had, but given the two of us...the results would have been the same....fetal position on the floor getting pounded..but yet...sure...I might have been a little more a "one" with myself...but does that really matter if I am injured or dead?

Macroscopically, as far as a "budo" practice, I think maybe it might make a difference as a "life changing" practice. Maybe I am more at peace with myself and all is right with my life, family and friends, so I am prepared to "die a good death".

Maybe, as Josh pointed out, that it does allow us to think clearer and maybe we are less a "sheep" and more a "wolf". that is we are willing to take action vice not take action. I think that can be an important first step.

Our slogan in Army Combatives is "the definition of a warrior is one who is willing to close with and engage the enemy."

Note that we don't say "competent" to engage the enemy.

there is alot more to being Competent in the necessary skill sets to do "something about" an immediate action situation. As Josh points out, EMT, Police, Military...a Chef even.

So, I think that, do a degree, yes, Budo practices can (or should), instill an basic instinct of "willingness".

But, I think that Willingness is one thing and ability/skill quite another.

Also, we may think or rationalize that our training has prepared us in ways that it really has not. How much stress do we really train under in our daily lives to deal with highly stressful and potentially dangerous situations? From my experiences, most dojos do not prepare students in the least do deal with the horrors of violence or catastrophe.

2. We will always rise and fall to the level of our training. I have experienced this so much in my military career. Under stress, we will do the things that we have made habit. Things we don't even realize we may do. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

I train my guys in the basics, then I get them in Blauer gear as fast as I can and then put them under a great deal of "combative" stress and video tape them so they can see the "instinctive" baseline that they currently have. We then work to fix and reprogram those things and then go back into the stress training to make sure it "sticks".

We also do the same things with our weapons on the range introducing as much stress and as many variables as we can to closely approximate the conditions we will fight under. It is amazing how "stupid" and brain locked you become and then result to subconscious defaults!

Sorry to get so long winded.

Anyway, I think budo training can help in many areas of our lives, however, when you start looking at actual applications or it in our daily lives, the dojo is in my opinion much like Church. A great practice to remind us constantly about what we need to stay focused on...however, like going to Church on Sunday....it ain't reality, and applying our values and the lessons we learn in Church are a whole heck of alot harder to make a part of our daily lives, and requires a whole lot more than what we typically get in a couple of hours in the dojo a week.

Michael Neal
10-12-2010, 12:43 PM
The Church analogy is perfect, so true. I feel so warm and fuzzy after Church until 10 minutes later and someone cuts me off in traffic and I start screaming and cussing, oops back to Church.

Carsten Möllering
10-12-2010, 12:44 PM
... she didn't say "my aikido" ... she said "real aikido".So you understood this as pejorative/devaluating?

On budo as a michi: IMO, life is the michi, budo is a tool (a useful one, but not the only one, not the best for all the tasks) for walking it.
I think we should not confuse the map (budo) with the territory (life).
Thank you! This is very interesting to me and helps to understand you. And I think it marks some important points.

Because if one understand aikido as dao, it is indeed the michi wich structures life. It is not just the tool but the walk itself (~ the "way" of the life / ~ a way of living ones life).

@ Mary
In consequence job, familiy ... will gather round the practice of aikido. I becomes kind of a center of life.

I truely don't assume that everyone has to live aikido this way.
But it can be done this way.

(Don't you know persons (eg aikido teachers) who live it this way?)

Carsten

Demetrio Cereijo
10-12-2010, 05:02 PM
Because if one understand aikido as dao, it is indeed the michi wich structures life. It is not just the tool but the walk itself
Well, I think life has structure on its own and is a path worth walking in itself.

Johann Baptista
10-12-2010, 07:44 PM
I also don't have any trouble standing up to those who engage in new-age bullying of the "if you don't agree with me, then it's because you don't get it, and if you don't get it, it's because you lack aiki" sort. So I'm going to keep on pointing out this gap whenever someone pretends it doesn't exist.

I have a question: What is your definition of New Age? And why do you (and so many others) seem to use this term constantly to describe anyone who enjoys thinking about Aikido philosophy/spirituality?

My guess is that "New Age", along with words like "Aiki-bunny" are simply pejorative terms used to dismiss the opinions of a group of people as unimportant and worthless. In itself it is a form of bullying, a form that is becoming more and more common on Aikiweb.

How many times has a person posted about the importance of Love in Aikido only to be shot down by scores of "realists"? What happened to the person who earlier posted about Aikido giving his life more meaning? I'll tell you: He was given a rather ugly "people cling to all kinds of delusions" type of response. Are we chasing people from Aikido instead of helping them? Maybe we are. Maybe we should begin to respect the hopes and dreams of others; it is in their visions that the action emerges. Maybe, just maybe, we might be wrong after all. :eek:

Perhaps I'm going on too much, but I really think it will benefit others to read this. It remains my humble opinion, an opinion, which like all opinions, is occasionally right. :)

It is sad that an increasing number of people are regarding Aikido philosophy as unimportant. Philosophy is the backbone of Aikido. It is the theory that drives the movements. Although it may sound nice to say "Its not the theory, its the practice", Aikido is really a fusion of the two. With the proper theory, practice becomes more productive. How would you propose to blend with another person if you never thought about what blending means?

There are many excellent books on Aikido; what are they? Collections of theories. Theories, I may add, that have greatly influenced my practice and my life.

BTW, for someone who believes that "we should discard the theory", you seem to spend a lot of time on Aikiweb. Just saying.

Regarding all this theory, I should probably go practice now. Just to balance out, you know? :D

Michael Neal
10-12-2010, 08:01 PM
Spirituality is all good but Aikido is also a martial art. While self improvement can be an important aspect, if the martial aspect is missing or lacking then why even bother with the techniques? There are probably much easier ways to practice spirituality if that is one's sole focus.

The problem is that the entire art gets a bad reputation and people flock to other martial arts instead, especially the people who have good physical ability. The result is a continued downhill spiral of effective transmission of Aikido as a martial art.

I used to be really negative towards the spirituality and such but I think it is great so long as the rest of the art isn't moved out of the way or diminished.

I find the same problem with Judo in the opposite direction, too much sport with Kano's ideal of mutual welfare and benefit moved out of the way for win at all costs, as well as the diminishing of kata and other important aspects of the art.

It seems to me Japanese martial arts are dissolving like the Tower of Babel.

Gorgeous George
10-12-2010, 08:22 PM
http://www.aikidoonline.com/articles/shihankai_articles/chiba/Chiba_Shoshin.php

http://aikidoonline.com/articles/shihankai_articles/sugano/Sugano_Aikido_Training.php

jonreading
10-12-2010, 09:28 PM
I have a question: What is your definition of New Age? And why do you (and so many others) seem to use this term constantly to describe anyone who enjoys thinking about Aikido philosophy/spirituality?

My guess is that "New Age", along with words like "Aiki-bunny" are simply pejorative terms used to dismiss the opinions of a group of people as unimportant and worthless. In itself it is a form of bullying, a form that is becoming more and more common on Aikiweb.


What the heck, I'll bite.

I think the issue at hand is not the expression of philosophy in aikido, it is the poor expression of a philosophical understanding of aikido. You have a right to think whatever aikido thoughts you want to think, but once you start asserting those thoughts and expressing them to others you assume the liability of those thoughts.

I think a big problem with the expounding of philosophy is that the proponent neither expected to present a cohesive and concise explanation, nor prepared to refute counter-arguments. Secondly, there is a new manner of interpretation that grants a wide berth to the [recognized] application of aikido philosophy. Both of these conditions are both liberal and younger in generational acceptance and for this reason I can understand "new-age" as a general descriptor of an expression. I don't consider "new-age" to be a derogatory term any more than "hippie" or "yuppie."

My rhetoric professor once used a sports analogy to identify the meat of an argument:
If you assert the claim "Nolan Ryan is the best pitcher that ever played baseball," you better present facts and logic to support your claim. If you think Nolan Ryan is the best pitcher that ever played baseball you have no argument.
BTW, Nolan Ryan is the best pitcher ever.

lbb
10-12-2010, 11:01 PM
So you understood this as pejorative/devaluating?

Oh, heck no. I took it with a big grain of salt. I mean, we all project our world view to a degree.

@ Mary
In consequence job, familiy ... will gather round the practice of aikido. I becomes kind of a center of life.

I truely don't assume that everyone has to live aikido this way.
But it can be done this way.

(Don't you know persons (eg aikido teachers) who live it this way?)

Carsten

Sure! I know people who have placed their aikido practice at the center of their lives. They have made choices and directed their lives in such a way that aikido is paramount -- and not in some hypothetical manner, but teaching and training full-time, living hand to mouth to do so, sacrificing the pastimes and often the relationships that are part of life for most of us.

But I also know many aikido practitioners who don't
live this way, and that includes many aikido teachers. My senseis (they're married) have three children and two full-time jobs. They most definitely have lives outside the dojo. We've never had this conversation, and for all I know, they might say that aikido was the "center of life" for them. On the other hand, having witnessed their devotion to their family, I can't imagine that their family would occupy any place other than the center of their lives.

If you say that something, anything, is the "center" of your life, isn't that the same as saying that all other things are peripheral? And if so, doesn't that (at least potentially) dishonor some pretty important things?

I guess for myself I would say that the center of life is life. It's the whole thing, all things and no thing. It isn't anything particular -- even something as broadly defined as "aikido" is too particular for me.

lbb
10-12-2010, 11:04 PM
I have a question: What is your definition of New Age? And why do you (and so many others) seem to use this term constantly to describe anyone who enjoys thinking about Aikido philosophy/spirituality?

I don't use it often and I don't use it in that sense. I used it in this specific context to make the point that bullying behavior can garb itself in rainbows and smiles, and that bully clubs come with many labels on them -- "spiritual" most definitely being one.

guest1234567
10-13-2010, 01:47 AM
I have a question: What is your definition of New Age? And why do you (and so many others) seem to use this term constantly to describe anyone who enjoys thinking about Aikido philosophy/spirituality?

My guess is that "New Age", along with words like "Aiki-bunny" are simply pejorative terms used to dismiss the opinions of a group of people as unimportant and worthless. In itself it is a form of bullying, a form that is becoming more and more common on Aikiweb.

How many times has a person posted about the importance of Love in Aikido only to be shot down by scores of "realists"? What happened to the person who earlier posted about Aikido giving his life more meaning? I'll tell you: He was given a rather ugly "people cling to all kinds of delusions" type of response. Are we chasing people from Aikido instead of helping them? Maybe we are. Maybe we should begin to respect the hopes and dreams of others; it is in their visions that the action emerges. Maybe, just maybe, we might be wrong after all. :eek:

Perhaps I'm going on too much, but I really think it will benefit others to read this. It remains my humble opinion, an opinion, which like all opinions, is occasionally right. :)

It is sad that an increasing number of people are regarding Aikido philosophy as unimportant. Philosophy is the backbone of Aikido. It is the theory that drives the movements. Although it may sound nice to say "Its not the theory, its the practice", Aikido is really a fusion of the two. With the proper theory, practice becomes more productive. How would you propose to blend with another person if you never thought about what blending means?

There are many excellent books on Aikido; what are they? Collections of theories. Theories, I may add, that have greatly influenced my practice and my life.

BTW, for someone who believes that "we should discard the theory", you seem to spend a lot of time on Aikiweb. Just saying.

Regarding all this theory, I should probably go practice now. Just to balance out, you know? :D

I agree completely, you wrote my own thoughts reading all the negative posts, but due my lack of vocabulary I could not express myself as you did, thanks:)

Nicholas Eschenbruch
10-13-2010, 01:54 AM
Wow, a thread I was initially a bit cynical about turned into a really interesting exchange, I wonder how that reflects on me... :o But thanks everybody!

A teacher once asked a group I was in whether we could imagine life without aikido, and what we would do. I said I could, and that I would put the time to good use, learn to play the guitar, catch up on all the movie classics I missed, and do all sorts of things that I could not do because of time spent on the mat. The teacher accepted that, but said he could not imagine life without Aikido. Then I read an interview with another high ranking teacher who said that after thirty plus years doing aikido he sometimes felt it was maybe time to do something else. These were both professionals. I have often asked myself how both points of view reflect on aikido as a way of life.

As for "real" aikido, not sure what that is...

Johann, I call myself an aikibunny whenever I can. I just like it when people find out I am 6'4'', my atemis hurt and I dont mind hard practice. I agree that cynicism is strong on aikiweb at times, but then I find it can be useful to check fantasies for their reality content. As in this thread.

The New Age though is history, isn't it? Wasn't that in the early eighties? Fritjof Capra? Aquarius? I my god...

Demetrio Cereijo
10-13-2010, 02:29 AM
I have a question: What is your definition of New Age?
If you don't mind, mine is saying Paulo Coelho is awesome and Kant... is a cigarette brand, isn't it?

Carsten Möllering
10-13-2010, 06:02 AM
How many times has a person posted about the importance of Love in Aikido only to be shot down by scores of "realists"? Problem is:
The of the word "love" in the context of budo differs from the meaning of the word "love" used in the context of most modern western interpretations.
So there is not really a contradiction between seeing aikido as budo of love and learning waza which destroyes the joints of an attacker.
But often the use of the words "love" and "harmony" implies the modern western understanding of love which denies that aikido is a effectiv martial art.

It is sad that an increasing number of people are regarding Aikido philosophy as unimportant. Philosophy is the backbone of Aikido. Problem here:
To what philosophy of aikido do you refer?
The only philosophy which is originally given with aikido is shinto. And more precisely the way of Oomoto kyo.
I know only very few people who follow this way and it truely is not the usual way of understanding aikido in most dojo.

Other pilosophies are self-made and differ from teacher to teacher, from dojo to dojo. I've never heard a sensei or shihan teaching with the thought of "aikido is love".
The connex of all of the practioners ist waza. Not philosophy.

It is the theory that drives the movements Not in the style I learn. There is no talking / teaching about the theory. It's just the research of movements.

Although it may sound nice to say "Its not the theory, its the practice", Aikido is really a fusion of the two.It would be nice if you could formulate "my aikido is" or "aikido can be". The way I practice and not only me but our dojo, our sensei, shihan, federation ... is another way.
And we do so, because we think this is the way that reveals most the benefits of aikido.

With the proper theory, practice becomes more productive.This sounds like what I hear of German ki-aikidoka (Yoshigasaki sensei). And their practice is poor.

How would you propose to blend with another person if you never thought about what blending means?Learning by doing: A view back in history teaches the method of aiki was developped through practice.

There are many excellent books on Aikido; what are they? Collections of theories.Could you understand them as reflection of practice?

BTW, for someone who believes that "we should discard the theory", you seem to spend a lot of time on Aikiweb. Just saying.Exchange of experiences or historical issues is not the same as "theory" I think.

Carsten Möllering
10-13-2010, 08:19 AM
I know people who have placed their aikido practice at the center of their lives. They have made choices and directed their lives in such a way that aikido is paramount [
Ok.
Can you imagine people making aikido center of their life and also doing a fulltime job? Do you think this is possible or does this collide with your understanding of "center of life" or "fulltime job"?

living hand to mouth to do so
Can you imagine people making aikido center of their life and not living hand to mouth? (But living a life with good income?)

sacrificing the pastimes and often the relationshipsYes. There's very little time then.

... that are part of life for most of us.Most of whom?

... they might say that aikido was the "center of life" for them. On the other hand, having witnessed their devotion to their family, ...Would be the same with me. But: I know that there a lot of conflicts. You simply can't be with your children or your wife when practicing. So, how to decide if such conflicts evolve?

If you say that something, anything, is the "center" of your life, isn't that the same as saying that all other things are peripheral? And if so, doesn't that (at least potentially) dishonor some pretty important things?No. It just means to have certain viewpoint, standingpoint, focus ...
And it's your / or better my point of view. This doesn't dishonor the world view of other people.

I guess for myself I would say that the center of life is life. It's the whole thing, all things and no thing. It isn't anything particular I think do it's a way of life / to live life / the whole thing /everyday ... by committing to one particular. Like aikido. I think this exactly is the meaning of "do": Living the whole by concentrating and commiting to only one special.

niall
10-13-2010, 11:01 AM
I think it's time to change the dynamics of this discussion.

1. A new member in her enthusiasm tried to share her vision of what aikido meant to her.

2. The original title of the thread is actually completely innocuous. It's difficult to see how any sentient person could disagree with it. Whether you are doing aikido to help your job as a bouncer or you are looking for unity with the universe it's all going to happen outside the few hours a week you spend in the dojo.

3. There were some negative comments. Mostly poorly argued and using pejorative language like pontificate. Like some other threads on aikiweb they were demonstrations of how little even some aikido people understand a.harmony or b.respect when they are discussing things on the internet. Anyone disagreeing with the original post could have said "I don't agree with you and this is why." Some people were happy to put the person down.

4. So I am now posting detailed examples of teachers from the Aikikai, Yoshinkan and Ki Society all demonstrating that these teachers believe that there is a spiritual dimension to aikido and that it is a practice that extends beyond the dojo. I found these examples easily in a few minutes on the internet. If you open almost any book on aikido you will find similar ideas and that is not a coincidence.

I am putting them as an extra post in my blog because there are several of them and there is a time limit for editing posts in the forums.

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/moon-in-the-water-19051/outside-the-dojo-yep-spiritual-yep-4038/

If you want to disagree with the thesis of this thread I would appreciate it if you would also use evidence. Putting someone down when you don't agree with them just doesn't cut it with adults.

Makochan
10-14-2010, 07:17 AM
If Aikido for me began and ended in the Dojo or if Aikido did not give me a sense of purpose beyond the normalities of everyday life, I would give up training today. I am surprised to read some of the negative comments and saddened to see how limited Aikido is for some. Willi, when I trained at Minato Aikikai for over ten years the Aikido was much more than simply training in the dojo. From that time I forged many lifelong and treasured friendships and knowing Akasaka Sensei and Nagai Sensei as I do, I find it strange that you do not understand what Carina, Niall and Matthew. For me; my Aikido gave me the guiding principles that define the person I have become. Live and let live please!!

WilliB
10-14-2010, 08:30 AM
If Aikido for me began and ended in the Dojo or if Aikido did not give me a sense of purpose beyond the normalities of everyday life, I would give up training today. I am surprised to read some of the negative comments and saddened to see how limited Aikido is for some. Willi, when I trained at Minato Aikikai for over ten years the Aikido was much more than simply training in the dojo. From that time I forged many lifelong and treasured friendships and knowing Akasaka Sensei and Nagai Sensei as I do, I find it strange that you do not understand what Carina, Niall and Matthew.

Huh? Why do you drag me into this? I only made a short off-hand remark at the beginning of the thread. I did not opine one way or the other.

If you must know, I think it is up to you what you make of it... if you want to meditate endlessly about deep spiritual meaning or simply do exercise -- your choice entirely. Live and let live.

Leave me out of this trench war, please!

Don_Modesto
10-14-2010, 08:43 AM
Facebook is definitely making me lazy...

@Mary Malmros & Marc Abrams--Like button clicked.

LOL.

NagaBaba
10-14-2010, 10:42 AM
Jon, has summed up very well my personal thoughts on this thread as I read through them. Not that I disagree with things others have said, there is alot of good material.

A couple of things come to mind from my past experiences (and present right now as I am actively in a combat zone...not that that really matters much in the greater scheme of this discussion, nor does it make me an expert on this topic...but this has been a topic that is fresh on my mind).

1. Martial Arts or Aikido will make you "better" prepared. IME, sure, do a degree that logic is true, however, it can also make you "worse".

Studied for 12 years or so in traditional systems, then started met some guys in the Army that did not share the same paradigm of training than I did. The dissonance I experienced left me in utter defeat in the fetal position trying to figure out what I did wrong or why I could not beat a guy that had only been studying "martial arts" for 4 months.

Why? what I had studied had simply not prepared me to deal with the paradigm of more realistic fighting as I had thought it had. Sure I could have been more calm or understood maybe a slight bit better than someone that had not studied as long as I had, but given the two of us...the results would have been the same....fetal position on the floor getting pounded..but yet...sure...I might have been a little more a "one" with myself...but does that really matter if I am injured or dead?

Macroscopically, as far as a "budo" practice, I think maybe it might make a difference as a "life changing" practice. Maybe I am more at peace with myself and all is right with my life, family and friends, so I am prepared to "die a good death".

Maybe, as Josh pointed out, that it does allow us to think clearer and maybe we are less a "sheep" and more a "wolf". that is we are willing to take action vice not take action. I think that can be an important first step.

Our slogan in Army Combatives is "the definition of a warrior is one who is willing to close with and engage the enemy."

Note that we don't say "competent" to engage the enemy.

there is alot more to being Competent in the necessary skill sets to do "something about" an immediate action situation. As Josh points out, EMT, Police, Military...a Chef even.

So, I think that, do a degree, yes, Budo practices can (or should), instill an basic instinct of "willingness".

But, I think that Willingness is one thing and ability/skill quite another.

Also, we may think or rationalize that our training has prepared us in ways that it really has not. How much stress do we really train under in our daily lives to deal with highly stressful and potentially dangerous situations? From my experiences, most dojos do not prepare students in the least do deal with the horrors of violence or catastrophe.

2. We will always rise and fall to the level of our training. I have experienced this so much in my military career. Under stress, we will do the things that we have made habit. Things we don't even realize we may do. Sometimes good, sometimes bad.

I train my guys in the basics, then I get them in Blauer gear as fast as I can and then put them under a great deal of "combative" stress and video tape them so they can see the "instinctive" baseline that they currently have. We then work to fix and reprogram those things and then go back into the stress training to make sure it "sticks".

We also do the same things with our weapons on the range introducing as much stress and as many variables as we can to closely approximate the conditions we will fight under. It is amazing how "stupid" and brain locked you become and then result to subconscious defaults!

Sorry to get so long winded.

Anyway, I think budo training can help in many areas of our lives, however, when you start looking at actual applications or it in our daily lives, the dojo is in my opinion much like Church. A great practice to remind us constantly about what we need to stay focused on...however, like going to Church on Sunday....it ain't reality, and applying our values and the lessons we learn in Church are a whole heck of alot harder to make a part of our daily lives, and requires a whole lot more than what we typically get in a couple of hours in the dojo a week.

This is one of the most interesting post I read recently. However ppl who are living in this McDonaldcivilisation don't understand a word what are you talking about.
Thanks and come back save.

Lyle Bogin
10-27-2010, 08:58 AM
I prefer to practice fantasy, non-organic, politically incorrect Aikido in my sleep on the sixth Sunday of every month outside of the dojo :confused: .

Marc Abrams

Lol! Sempai, you crack me up!