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MsForeverlotus
08-12-2014, 05:35 PM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life, not just a hobby.
What do you do to take your lessons and utilize them in everyday life?
I believe it is something that can be as practical as you want it to be.

kewms
08-12-2014, 07:50 PM
How does an athlete use their fitness in daily life? How does a religious person use their beliefs?

If aikido is a way of life, then its lessons apply in everything you do, often without you even realizing it.

Our own Peter Boylan has written quite a bit about budo, power, responsibility, and similar topics: http://budobum.blogspot.com/

Katherine

dps
08-12-2014, 09:54 PM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life, not just a hobby.
What do you do to take your lessons and utilize them in everyday life?
I believe it is something that can be as practical as you want it to be.

I don't consider Aikido as a way of life, it becomes part of my life because I practice daily not because I conciously make a decision to use Aikido.

Although there are elite Aikido professionals that consider what I do a hobby because I don't attend dojo classes a specific number of days a week, it is not a hobby.

dps

dps
08-12-2014, 09:56 PM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life, not just a hobby.
What do you do to take your lessons and utilize them in everyday life?
I believe it is something that can be as practical as you want it to be.

I don't consider Aikido as a way of life, it becomes part of my life because I practice daily.

Although there are elite Aikido professionals that consider what I do a hobby because I don't attend dojo classes a specific number of days a week, it isn't.

dps

lbb
08-13-2014, 07:29 AM
As many times as I've heard the phrase, I don't really know what a "way of life" is. There are obvious examples of those who are voluntarily in what the sociologists call a total institution (for example, those living in a monastic community), but the phrase is so widely used in cases beyond those examples that I'm just not sure what it means. Certainly I don't spend most of my day consciously "doing aikido", and I think it's far-fetched to suggest that I'm doing it unconsciously either. Problem-solving, dealing with interpersonal difficulties, walking down the street, people did all these things long before aikido existed. But I know that there are those who like to frame their lives in those terms.

phitruong
08-13-2014, 10:09 AM
woke up in the morning
still alive. hot damn!
difficult next move
get out of bed
daily dose of ibuprofen
wash down with coffee
hello world!

any of you walking down the street, seeing people coming toward you, and thinking of techniques to use on them? or shaking hand with folks and realizing that you have shifted your body for a throw? or hug friends and family, then realize that your body went into aikiage mode? :)

kewms
08-13-2014, 10:21 AM
As many times as I've heard the phrase, I don't really know what a "way of life" is. There are obvious examples of those who are voluntarily in what the sociologists call a total institution (for example, those living in a monastic community), but the phrase is so widely used in cases beyond those examples that I'm just not sure what it means. Certainly I don't spend most of my day consciously "doing aikido", and I think it's far-fetched to suggest that I'm doing it unconsciously either. Problem-solving, dealing with interpersonal difficulties, walking down the street, people did all these things long before aikido existed. But I know that there are those who like to frame their lives in those terms.

Most of the "daily life" skills that aikido develops can, IMO, be developed through any consistent practice: meditation, tea ceremony, gardening, long walks with one's dog or spouse. They're the difference between a mindful, grounded life and otherwise.

The difference in aikido (or any budo) is the introduction of physical conflict. I think that develops an awareness of the use (and abuse) of power that's hard to get in other ways.

Katherine

Dan Rubin
08-13-2014, 10:59 AM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life....

I consider Aikido to be like the rest of my life.

Mary Eastland
08-13-2014, 02:53 PM
The other day I was riding my bike at work. The neighbor guy yelled at me to get off his land and ride the other way. I yelled back, "Why?" He said, "because I don't want anybody associated with (insert my bosses' name here) on my land." I said "OK," and turned around and rode away. Felt like aikido to me.

SeiserL
08-13-2014, 03:17 PM
Enter and blend ...
Enter and blend ...

Mario Tobias
08-13-2014, 05:22 PM
Everybody starts as a beginner, in whatever dream you have the most important thing is to start.
Similar to attaining blackbelt, in mastering any endeavor, practicing more than 10000 hours makes perfect
Don't quit. Attaining perfection eventually comes. You just need to put in the hours, blood and sweat included.
There is no secret to attaining anything. Training, practice and sacrifice is the secret.
Wrt mastery, you always go through the 4 phases: unconsciously incompetent, consciously incompetent, consciously competent, unconsciously competent. Know what phase you are in your life or work.
Aikido similar to life is art, everybody has his own unique interpretation which can end in success or failure.
Don't force a technique, try something different to make it work or try something totally different that you are successful.
Openings, similar to opportunities come in a flash. You need to know how to identify them and grab them quickly for you might not have a chance again. However, the good news is they are everywhere.
The human body is an amazing machine, through countless repetition the body undertstands even though the mind doesn't.
Search for something that comes natural or automatic since this is much more successful.
Learning is not an incline but like a step of stairs. The flat line is your plateau, you continue practicing until you make that quantum leap to your next learning cycle. That is why you shouldn't quit while you are in a plateau. This is a sign that your leap to a higher plane is near.
Techniques are analogous to life skills. Skills and techniques are much less important than Aikido or life's principles. Focus on principles rather than techniques and you will be more successful in life or Aikido.

robin_jet_alt
08-13-2014, 06:33 PM
any of you walking down the street, seeing people coming toward you, and thinking of techniques to use on them? or shaking hand with folks and realizing that you have shifted your body for a throw? or hug friends and family, then realize that your body went into aikiage mode? :)

Good to see it's not just me.

Adam Huss
08-13-2014, 08:04 PM
I've always felt the old adage "jiki shin kore dojo" is appropriate when considering usefulness of aikido 'off the mat.'

lbb
08-14-2014, 07:24 AM
The other day I was riding my bike at work. The neighbor guy yelled at me to get off his land and ride the other way. I yelled back, "Why?" He said, "because I don't want anybody associated with (insert my bosses' name here) on my land." I said "OK," and turned around and rode away. Felt like aikido to me.

And yet people who have never practiced (or even heard of) aikido are perfectly of resolving conflicts peacefully.

I understand that for many who practice it, aikido is a catalyst that effects a positive change. But I think we're selling ourselves short (and the rest of humanity as well) if we conflate aikido practice with all that is positive. We need to understand the difference between a catalyst and a magic pill. If aikido were a magic pill, simply signing up for classes at a dojo would make you a more peaceful, virtuous, blendywhatsis kind of person. But if human change worked like that, alcoholism would be cured simply by walking by an AA meeting. Aikido is one of many possible catalysts that can effect positive change in a situation where all the other necessary ingredients are in place: that is, a person who is ready for the change. Thinking that "aikido makes you a better person" is much like the way that some religious people ascribe all virtuous behavior to their religion, and all unvirtuous behavior to lack of same.

PeterR
08-14-2014, 08:33 AM
And yet people who have never practiced (or even heard of) aikido are perfectly of resolving conflicts peacefully.

Thinking that "aikido makes you a better person" is much like the way that some religious people ascribe all virtuous behavior to their religion, and all unvirtuous behavior to lack of same.

Yes and yes again. There is nothing in aikido training which can create a changing behavior - at best it can reinforce something that someone already wants.

Still I will say that aikido training taught me to be a better driver. I started to look for things that were first introduced to me in the dojo. Timing, looking ahead, projection - of course that is not exactly spiritual.

Mary Eastland
08-14-2014, 09:07 AM
@Mary and Peter:

What I meant to say is that it really felt like aikido to me. I felt centered, relaxed, not annoyed ...just good inside. I will say it again...it felt like aikido to me.

For me, it is a spiritual practice...being fully present and choosing my responses. I see for you it may be something different.

Chris Li
08-14-2014, 09:58 AM
Yes and yes again. There is nothing in aikido training which can create a changing behavior - at best it can reinforce something that someone already wants.

Still I will say that aikido training taught me to be a better driver. I started to look for things that were first introduced to me in the dojo. Timing, looking ahead, projection - of course that is not exactly spiritual.

If we're speaking about conventional physical/technical Aikido as it is practiced most places, then I agree completely.

OTOH, if we're talking about the types of training that Morihei Ueshiba participated in (and are described in a fair amount of detail in "Takemusu Aiki") then I think that the necessary tools are certainly included - what one does with those tools is, of course, up to the individual's own choice and effort.

Internal Training is all about changing behavior - that's why it's so difficult.

Best,

Chris

PeterR
08-14-2014, 10:37 AM
Well I am not convinced that what Ueshiba practiced and training IS can make you more capable of resolving conflict. I have no issue with physical practice being a component (to a greater or lesser degree) of spiritual development - that is an essential tenant of Budo. However, you have to be inclined in that direction before you start. Spirituality does not equal ability to resolve conflict.

lbb
08-14-2014, 10:49 AM
Iwhat one does with those tools is, of course, up to the individual's own choice and effort.

As I was just saying...

jonreading
08-14-2014, 11:00 AM
My position on this has changed somewhat over the years... Here is the current thought...

Aikido is a cognitive process. That cognitive process changes the way we think about anything. Those with a proclivity towards the process will be naturally more inclined to accept and permeate the process throughout their decisions and actions. Some of the PR stuff got into harmony and conflict resolution and so forth. I know plenty of people who train aikido who are jerks with nothing "peaceful" about anything they do.

Responsibility, courage, leadership, confidence, etc. These are all traits we cultivate in our training and those traits in turn change our personality, which in turn changes our behavior. If that was easy...everyone would do it...

Chris Li
08-14-2014, 02:05 PM
Well I am not convinced that what Ueshiba practiced and training IS can make you more capable of resolving conflict. I have no issue with physical practice being a component (to a greater or lesser degree) of spiritual development - that is an essential tenant of Budo. However, you have to be inclined in that direction before you start. Spirituality does not equal ability to resolve conflict.

Non-resistance (resolving conflict) is a crucial component of what Ueshiba was doing, but not quite in the sense that conventional Aikido uses it - that's primarily a result of the post-war Kisshomaru /Tohei marketing spin.

The spirituality part is tightly integrated with his training method - the result of intent based training. Conventional technical training will never get you there. Neither will "spiritual" training divorced frm Ueshiba's training method - at least, not in the way that he got there. There are other ways, and they're fine, just not the method of Aiki described in clear detail by Ueshiba.

Best,

Chris

lbb
08-14-2014, 03:19 PM
The spirituality part is tightly integrated with his training method - the result of intent based training. Conventional technical training will never get you there. Neither will "spiritual" training divorced frm Ueshiba's training method - at least, not in the way that he got there. There are other ways, and they're fine, just not the method of Aiki described in clear detail by Ueshiba.

"Oh, we are all very strong on what we are not, but weak on what we are. To define something in terms of what it is not, that is the disease of our times..."

Chris Li
08-14-2014, 04:36 PM
"Oh, we are all very strong on what we are not, but weak on what we are. To define something in terms of what it is not, that is the disease of our times..."

Well, Mary, I've published a number of articles defining what I'm talking about specifically, supported by direct translations from Ueshiba. I believe that I am the only person on this thread to have done so. In light of that, I don't see that it is symptomatic of any particular disease to state my opinion of what falls outside that definition. Of course, this is all my opinion, and people are free to disregard it if they wish, without name calling.

Best,

Chris

MRoh
08-15-2014, 04:47 AM
I believe in the benefits of conventional technical training, and I think it's something that cannot be neglected, if one really wants to learn the art of Aikido.

But we have to thank those who made an effort to translate what Ueshiba wrote and said, an worked out what really is behind his words.

Now everybody can understand that we said was not the gibberish of a crazy old man.

I read too much about "Aikido as a spirtual way" that was based on nothing.

Mary Eastland
08-15-2014, 06:09 AM
The practical application of aikido for life comes from training and reading. Reading 10%...training 90%.
The art reveals itself through physical contact and movement.

Chris Li
08-15-2014, 06:24 AM
The practical application of aikido for life comes from training and reading. Reading 10%...training 90%.
The art reveals itself through physical contact and movement.

Morihei Ueshiba (and most other Japanese martial artists) emphasized Bunbu Ryodo, but I don't recall too much mention of percentages :)

Be that as it may, most Japanese martial traditions are built on a foundation of physical training - but rely on study of the Kuden or something similiar to really unlock things. One of the problems in conventional Aikido is that virtually nobody really paid or pays much attention to the Kuden that Ueshiba left "hidden in plain sight".

Best,

Chris

jonreading
08-15-2014, 10:41 AM
A couple of things of interest...

I have become more critical over the years of the catch phrases like, "shut up and train," "I'm always training, "I do aikido all the time," "I use aikido in everything I do..."

I am not sure we don't tell ourselves these things to feel better about our level of commitment to training and the progress we make in our training efforts. I think the rise in intangible "benefits" of training is correlated with the proficiency in physical skill. We balance our overall feeling of progress to remain interested and involved in our training. It's important to find the inspiration to persevere in our training. Our dojo jokes about how many times we have experienced significant paradigm shifts in our training that have caused us to start over. It's nice to have other avenues of success to comfort us in times of frustration.

But, I think there is some evidence to suggest the intangible pursuits have taken a greater role in dominating our success stories than originally intended. And, our focus on success has moved us away from tangible (physical) aspects that were critical in earlier training.

For example, what would this thread be if the question instead was focused on physical training everyday?

At one point in time, what we call aikido was trained in a place called, "Hell Dojo." We say that the elements that comprised earlier aikido greats are no longer available.

Carsten Möllering
08-16-2014, 03:34 AM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life, ...
The practical application of aikido for life ...
"I use aikido in everything I do..."

I have to admit that everytime I read a sentence like that I wonder: What does that mean?
And reading is meant literally here: I have never ever hear this someone really say in over twenty years. None of my teacher or sempai has ever made a statement like that. This is an attitude I only know from reading in forums on the internet.

Do you ponder some philosophical oder spiritual issues during practice? Do your teacher lecture during practice? In which way do you learn during practice what it means, aikidō as a way of life, or about the practical applications in life or using aikidō in everything you do? In which way is that taught to you on the mat or how do learn about that on the tatami?

And when you study the texts about the specific philosophical and spiritual background and content of aikidō, in which way do you translate and integrate this daoist, buddhist, shintōist thoughts into your daily life? Who helps you to understand this specific thinking into your everyday life?

And in which way do you connect your bodily practice to your spiritual practice? Within a daoist frame this is relativly "easy", I think. But as far as I understand, this is not the framework most of the people use or live in?

So in which specific way does staying calm and centered during a conflict connect to keiko?

And - the other way round:
Don't you do any communicational training, that helps you in situatations like this? Don't you practice some meditation that helps you to stay calm in situations like this? Don't you have some mental Training, Training for the mind, that help you stay centered and relaxed in Situations like this?
Do you really have only aikidō as your one and only thing in your toolbox for living life?

And, our focus on success has moved us away from tangible (physical) aspects that were critical in earlier training.To be honest: During keiko this "tangible (physical) aspects" is what we deal with.
Although our practice is very soft, it is about exploring our own body and relating it to the body of an attacker. How am I able to stay connected and how am I able to move aite?
Although we don't use the word or that mindset, "success" ist to be able to stay connected and to move a person which I couldn't move before.
Really: It's that simple. That is what I know as the concept of what keiko is for over twenty years now. And with a lot of different teachers. That's all.

So when you are no longer concerned with learning to move a partner you can't move yet: What then is practiced during keiko? And how does keiko look like then?

For example, what would this thread be if the question instead was focused on physical training everyday?Um, well don't you do aikidō related physical training every day? (Or did you mean every moment of every day?) I thought most people would usually do so? Not in the dōjō maybe, but at home, in which way ever. Most advanced students and all teacher I know do.
I think there is a very lot of "homework" to do to prepare working with a partner.

RonRagusa
08-16-2014, 06:50 AM
Don't you do any communicational training, that helps you in situatations like this? Don't you practice some meditation that helps you to stay calm in situations like this? Don't you have some mental Training, Training for the mind, that help you stay centered and relaxed in Situations like this?

Our Aikido is a mind/body practice. As such our training directly addresses each of the questions above in an integrated manner. We don't separate training the mind from training the body. Mind and body are one and are trained simultaneously.

Ron

Mary Eastland
08-16-2014, 12:34 PM
Interesting questions, Carsten. I don't think at all when I am training. I train. I am in the now. I do.

That is what I strive for in my life. To be in the now. To mind my own business and to do my best at what ever I am doing. When there is no separation from now and me then I am with what is and for me that is as close to being with a power greater than myself as I can get.

I don't see how that is a problem. If I wanted to do calisthenics or to play basketball I would do it the same way. That is how I apply aikido principles to my everyday life. When I am typing at the computer I am not thinking about what I am going to have for dinner. I just type.

MRoh
08-17-2014, 02:14 PM
I don't see how that is a problem. If I wanted to do calisthenics or to play basketball I would do it the same way. That is how I apply aikido principles to my everyday life.

I wouldn't consider that as a special "aikido-principle".
Every so called "life-coach" declares this ancient wisdom.

Dan Rubin
08-17-2014, 06:29 PM
Excerpts from Falling Hard: A Journey Into the World of Judo by Mark Law (2009), pp. 91-93:

In the minds of many who come to the sport, there persists a vague notion that judo is character-building. It is a nice-sounding idea, but what exactly does it mean?...

We can declaim that self-discipline, initiative, confidence, and courage are all fostered by judo, while we neglect to remind ourselves that these are also the very qualities required to be a successful bank robber....

The sport is fraught with skullduggery both on and off the mat. Maybe the answer is the same as the response to criticism of appalling behavior by those who are apparently religious: "Think how much worse they'd be if they didn't go to church!"...

Anyone who struggles to believe that judo builds character might find it easier to accept that judo certainly reveals it....

Some claim that judo can imbue its adherents with new qualities, but Geof Gleeson, a former British coach and one of the sport's philosophers, dismisses such claims as exaggerated. The confidence imbued by judo, he argues, is often mere brashness concealing timidity. A tendency to bully is exacerbated as often as it is suppressed. Judo, he argues, tends to emphasize what's there already.

RonRagusa
08-17-2014, 09:21 PM
From the About Aikido page posted on the web site of the Boulder Aikikai:

"Ueshiba also immersed himself in religious studies and developed an ideology devoted to universal socio-political harmony. Incorporating these principles into his martial art, Ueshiba developed many aspects of aikido in concert with his philosophical and religious ideology."

"Aikido is not primarily a system of combat, but rather a means of self-cultivation and improvement."

"According to the founder, the goal of aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit one's own mind and inhibit its functioning."

"This is the essence of Budo. It is not the art of fighting, of narrow technique, but an art of personal refinement and of protecting the quality of life. Aikido is first and always Budo. Without the heart of a warrior and the deep desire to protect society, to protect all life, Aikido becomes an empty dance. Budo is its spirit."

"An Aikido dojo is not a gymnasium. It is the place where the way of the discipline is revealed. Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. The correct attitude of respect, sincerity and modesty, and the proper atmosphere are essential to the learning process."

Chris Li
08-17-2014, 09:36 PM
From the About Aikido page posted on the web site of the Boulder Aikikai:

"Ueshiba also immersed himself in religious studies and developed an ideology devoted to universal socio-political harmony. Incorporating these principles into his martial art, Ueshiba developed many aspects of aikido in concert with his philosophical and religious ideology."

"Aikido is not primarily a system of combat, but rather a means of self-cultivation and improvement."

"According to the founder, the goal of aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit one's own mind and inhibit its functioning."

"This is the essence of Budo. It is not the art of fighting, of narrow technique, but an art of personal refinement and of protecting the quality of life. Aikido is first and always Budo. Without the heart of a warrior and the deep desire to protect society, to protect all life, Aikido becomes an empty dance. Budo is its spirit."

"An Aikido dojo is not a gymnasium. It is the place where the way of the discipline is revealed. Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. The correct attitude of respect, sincerity and modesty, and the proper atmosphere are essential to the learning process."

While that's true, it doesn't follow that any and all personal development scenarios are therefore Aikido. Islam, Christianity and Buddhism all purport to help people live better lives - but their methods are often quite different, as are the results.

Unfortunately, we seem to be reaching a point where any and all feel good moments are labeled as "Aiki".

Ueshiba was very specific in how such refinement occurs, and describes it in great detail in Takemusu Aiki. Other methods and results are perfectly fine, of course, but that doesn't mean that they are part and parcel of what Ueshiba was talking about.

Best,

Chris

sakumeikan
08-18-2014, 12:34 AM
From the About Aikido page posted on the web site of the Boulder Aikikai:

"Ueshiba also immersed himself in religious studies and developed an ideology devoted to universal socio-political harmony. Incorporating these principles into his martial art, Ueshiba developed many aspects of aikido in concert with his philosophical and religious ideology."

"Aikido is not primarily a system of combat, but rather a means of self-cultivation and improvement."

"According to the founder, the goal of aikido is not the defeat of others, but the defeat of the negative characteristics which inhabit one's own mind and inhibit its functioning."

"This is the essence of Budo. It is not the art of fighting, of narrow technique, but an art of personal refinement and of protecting the quality of life. Aikido is first and always Budo. Without the heart of a warrior and the deep desire to protect society, to protect all life, Aikido becomes an empty dance. Budo is its spirit."

"An Aikido dojo is not a gymnasium. It is the place where the way of the discipline is revealed. Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. The correct attitude of respect, sincerity and modesty, and the proper atmosphere are essential to the learning process."
Dear Ron,
From my experiences I would say that Aikido has failed to imbue some aikidoka with the positive assets you mention.Then again it may not be Aikido that has failed .Maybe the responsibility for failure to grasp the real message of aikido lies with the person?Cheers, Joe

RonRagusa
08-18-2014, 05:55 AM
Dear Ron,
From my experiences I would say that Aikido has failed to imbue some aikidoka with the positive assets you mention.Then again it may not be Aikido that has failed .Maybe the responsibility for failure to grasp the real message of aikido lies with the person?Cheers, Joe

It's all there for the taking Joe; but deciding what to take and what to discard is left up to the student.

Ron

Carsten Möllering
08-18-2014, 09:33 AM
Unfortunately, we seem to be reaching a point where any and all feel good moments are labeled as "Aiki".Yes, seems to be true.
Even within my own aikidō-club we have this. "Everything is aikidō, as long as it creates good feeling, helps to communicate, makes life joyfull and brings people together": This is what at least one fellow teacher in our club explicitly teaches on the tatami. aikidō becomes a certain view of life - or way of life.
You can communicate in an aikidō-way. You can solve problems in an aikidō-way. You can do your work in an aikidō-way. Or even walk down the street in an aikidō-way. Everything can be aikidō.
And the way to perform the waza gets adjusted to that point of view. It is very interesting how the understanding of aikidō as a way of life, a way of feeling good within life and with other people changes the waza over time. aikidō merely becomes a kind of a "flow experience".

I think, there is a lack of experience of the sophisticated internal body work which is inherent in traditional Japanese budō. Most people seem to have never been exposed to that feeling, be it with a student of Ueshiba osensei or a koryū or even daitō ryū. So the deeper technical understanding of how to develop and to use one's body that can be found in the old streams simply got lost in their practice. They are not longer connected to the wisdom of creating aiki within onself as a way to use one's body.

But the forms, the kata, the outward body movements without that don't t transport any essence in itself. While they are open to any interpretation.
And because the pure forms don't tell you something about "aiki within me" they need to blend with the movement of the partner. That's all they can do.

It reminds me of practicing only the omote kata of a ryū ...

And the same is true, I think, regarding the spiritual teachings of aikidō. There simply is a lack of understanding of what Ueshiba osensei meant when using terms like "self-cultivation", "personal refinement and spiritual growth".
People pick up these terms without connecting them to the roots in Daoist internal alchemy, esoteric Mikkyō. Not even Shintō. And so the terms lose their actual content. They don't transmitt anymore what was to be contained in their understanding and practice.
An so the "peace" created by the specific arrangement of two specific hexagrams becomes the "peace" of the '68 generation ...

Finally, I think, a lot of people lack a source of orientation in this complex life and world. People have lost confidence in "Islam, Christianity and Buddhism" which you list and all those other meaningful systems that claim to provide a certain way of life. But that blank space has to be filled in.
And that is where aikidō comes into play.

jonreading
08-18-2014, 10:41 AM
Carsten-

My comments about moving away from tangible aspects of aiki training was directed more towards that migration to see our kata/waza as a thing that does something to somebody. Whereas the elements of the kata don't necessarily receive the scrutiny or instruction. Take, for example, the element of hanmi. Sure, we receive general instruction to stand. but do we really receive the necessary instruction to stand and present no openings?

My over-arching point was to be mindful about where and why we claim success in our training and to keep a critical eye on substituting physical progress with non-physical progress... while leaving some room to enjoy each type of success.

jonreading
08-18-2014, 10:42 AM
Unfortunately, we seem to be reaching a point where any and all feel good moments are labeled as "Aiki".


+1

Mary Eastland
08-18-2014, 12:22 PM
Another daily application of aikido is daily ki exercises. I like to do mine outside in the morning or if I can't I will do them in the office or in the dojo when I get home.

Chris Li
08-18-2014, 12:30 PM
Another daily application of aikido is daily ki exercises. I like to do mine outside in the morning or if I can't I will do them in the office or in the dojo when I get home.

Sure, I work out in all sorts of odd places - but how is that an application of Aikido to daily life? The OP was:

What do you do to take your lessons and utilize them in everyday life?

Best,

Chris

RonRagusa
08-18-2014, 12:53 PM
I consider Aikido to be a way of life, not just a hobby.
What do you do to take your lessons and utilize them in everyday life?
I believe it is something that can be as practical as you want it to be.

If you look at Aikido as a practice that is designed to bring about a particular state of being (i.e. mind/body coordinated) then all that you learn will be brought to bear in your daily life.

If, OTOH, you see Aikido as a collection of techniques to learn and master then applying what you learn in daily life outside the dojo is going to require that you look for lots of trouble to get into. :)

Ron

Mary Eastland
08-18-2014, 02:04 PM
:D If you look at Aikido as a practice that is designed to bring about a particular state of being (i.e. mind/body coordinated) then all that you learn will be brought to bear in your daily life.

If, OTOH, you see Aikido as a collection of techniques to learn and master then applying what you learn in daily life outside the dojo is going to require that you look for lots of trouble to get into. :)

Ron

:D I like to think that daily ki exercises keep me out of trouble by starting my day in a nice relaxed state with the endorphins flowing as opposed to being cranky and looking for trouble. ;)

Dan Rubin
08-18-2014, 02:07 PM
It's all there for the taking Joe; but deciding what to take and what to discard is left up to the student.

Ron

Precisely.

kewms
08-18-2014, 03:11 PM
:D

:D I like to think that daily ki exercises keep me out of trouble by starting my day in a nice relaxed state with the endorphins flowing as opposed to being cranky and looking for trouble. ;)

There is that...

Buddhists say that one of the advantages of meditation is that, if nothing else, while meditating you're not creating karma. I feel somewhat the same way about my aikido practice. As does my husband, based on his willingness to kick me out of the house if I haven't been to class recently.

Katherine

Keith Larman
08-18-2014, 09:50 PM
Most things people have mentioned are also why I enjoy tennis, playing classical piano and sword polishing. Connection, flow states, meditative movement, learning to blend...

or, to sum up my position on this topic, something my father used to say. Whatever zaps your zipper. I honestly thing the reason it is so difficult to have conversations about Aikido is that it truly has become all things to all people. It is both Aikido's greatest strength as well as its greatest weakness IMHO.

I no longer even try to clarify... I just train with folk doing what I like. At some point a concept becomes so generalized and overused that it becomes essentially devoid of any meaning, a shell of its former self.

SMH... To quote the great thespian Snagglepuss, exit, stage right...

Carsten Möllering
08-19-2014, 03:14 AM
Carsten - My comments about moving away from tangible aspects of aiki training was directed more towards ...Ups, I thought, I would point in a similar direction? :o

... see our kata/waza as a thing that does something to somebody. The way I am taught and try to teach, first of all is about organizing and moving one's own body. Or more broadly said: It is about "oneself" altogether. All the bodywork, working with qi, in yo ho or whatever is about one's own body (structure, being centered, being connected, ...), one's own energy system (being open, permeable, leading qi / directing kimochi ...), one's own attitude (being awake, mentally relaxed, confident ...).
Doing something to somebody is only a natural result as soon as someone touches you. Or more broadly said: Working with onself, means working with the whole world, because "I am the universe". Consistently changing oneself, changes the world. Microcosm and Macrocosm are not to be divided.

Our understanding of kata is heavily influenced by certain koryū. So kata in our understanding does not mean to teach you how to fight, but how to use your body and "how to be" in general.
waza is different, it is what results form kata practice when you just let go and move natural. waza arises spontaneously and expresses, what has been "learned" through kata.

... do we really receive the necessary instruction to stand and present no openings?Yes. That's what teaching is about, I think?!

My over-arching point was to be mindful about where and why we claim success in our training and to keep a critical eye on substituting physical progress with non-physical progress... Here we've come full circle:
In the aikidō I practice there is no non-physical progress defined. So yes, everyone can say "I'm a happier person now, because I'm doing aikidō." Or "I'm able to communicate more relaxed now, because I'm doing aikidō." Or "I'm a 'better' Person now, because I'm doing aikidō." But that is up to you individual understanding, your personal view or phantasy.
But all this is not subject of teaching or pracice. On the tatami things like that are definetly not addressed. And they are not called "aikidō" in which way ever. Nor are they even related to the keiko in any way.

So, the only "succes" or "progresse" you can have in our way of practice, is a different feeling within your own body. And resulting from that, a different, maybe "better" way you can move your uke, your feedback.

jonreading
08-19-2014, 07:10 AM
Ups, I thought, I would point in a similar direction? :o

The way I am taught and try to teach, first of all is about organizing and moving one's own body. Or more broadly said: It is about "oneself" altogether. All the bodywork, working with qi, in yo ho or whatever is about one's own body (structure, being centered, being connected, ...), one's own energy system (being open, permeable, leading qi / directing kimochi ...), one's own attitude (being awake, mentally relaxed, confident ...).
Doing something to somebody is only a natural result as soon as someone touches you. Or more broadly said: Working with onself, means working with the whole world, because "I am the universe". Consistently changing oneself, changes the world. Microcosm and Macrocosm are not to be divided.

Our understanding of kata is heavily influenced by certain koryū. So kata in our understanding does not mean to teach you how to fight, but how to use your body and "how to be" in general.
waza is different, it is what results form kata practice when you just let go and move natural. waza arises spontaneously and expresses, what has been "learned" through kata.

Yes. That's what teaching is about, I think?!

Here we've come full circle:
In the aikidō I practice there is no non-physical progress defined. So yes, everyone can say "I'm a happier person now, because I'm doing aikidō." Or "I'm able to communicate more relaxed now, because I'm doing aikidō." Or "I'm a 'better' Person now, because I'm doing aikidō." But that is up to you individual understanding, your personal view or phantasy.
But all this is not subject of teaching or pracice. On the tatami things like that are definetly not addressed. And they are not called "aikidō" in which way ever. Nor are they even related to the keiko in any way.

So, the only "succes" or "progresse" you can have in our way of practice, is a different feeling within your own body. And resulting from that, a different, maybe "better" way you can move your uke, your feedback.

Well, yes, I think most of what we are saying is the same thing, I am just being a little more vocal about where I have felt some difference between what I do now, and what I was used to doing. We have been throwing around a concept in class concerning the use of our body and the effect of our body movement on others. We ask the analogous question, do you want to be the wave or the thing that creates the wave?

Mary Eastland
08-19-2014, 09:05 AM
As I was riding my bike this morning I noticed I had some heartburn....I kept riding, doing my rounds at work hoping it would go away. I decided to go get a Tums for my tummy. Then I thought, "Let's see if Ki exercises help with heart burn."...I chuckled at myself because of this thread.

So, I did my ki exercises and guess what...the heart burn went away. Just sayin....;)

mathewjgano
08-19-2014, 12:48 PM
This isn't so much a daily application perhaps, but I use ki-related practice to help me with my runs. Extension, balance, and breath all make a huge difference for how far I can go and how much pain I will receive: The echo of each foot strike through the body, the accumulation of tension, the way things like that can perturb the nice rhythm I develop.
I was part of a team running from Spokane to Sandpoint this last weekend, and my first leg was 6.5 miles in warm weather almost entirely up fairly steep hills. If I let my attitude turn negative it makes it more difficult, but it's hard to enjoy a struggle that you wish you had trained more for. Still, I breathed into my belly, felt around my body as best I could (listened and adjusted/rebalanced), softened my foot strikes, and focused on my breathing and water intake (it can be hard when you're "sucking wind" and trying to suck water up through a camel pack hose, too; It often leaves me even more breathless). There was a thunderhead passing over and I got some nice growls from the clouds and that sort of things always taps into something primal within me. I let out a grateful "kiai" and felt refreshed...relatively speaking. The joy of it was a second wind before I had to finish the last of this uphill run with the Doomsday Hill (Bloomsday, anyone?). I walked most of that hill, still trying to listen to my body and cultivating my ki; I tried to balance drive with relaxation and by paying attention to my body, I was able to run toward the top and then sprint across the transfer line.
It wasn't until my 3rd leg though (4 miles), that I was able to have a sense of transcending the toughness of the task. I had about two hours of sleep in the last 48; it was a constant uphill run again (the theme for my race legs this year, perfectly echoing for me this year so far), a bit more gradual than the first, but in hotter weather. I finished strong and felt absolutely awesome afterward. It was a matter of finding rhythm of body mind and breath, and striving for fullness in each aspect, balancing drive with relaxation. I had to be in the moment to listen to what it suggested I could do to feel better. For me, this is all Aikido...there was also the periodic tekubishindo and a lot of cutting actions involved. With each raising of the blade (to about chudan) I connected the movement to my opposite foot and imagined a string lifting it. It was a study of connection and drive and joy. Can't wait until next year.

RonRagusa
08-19-2014, 01:23 PM
This isn't so much a daily application perhaps, but I use ki-related practice to help me with my runs. Extension, balance, and breath all make a huge difference for how far I can go and how much pain I will receive: The echo of each foot strike through the body, the accumulation of tension, the way things like that can perturb the nice rhythm I develop.
I was part of a team running from Spokane to Sandpoint this last weekend, and my first leg was 6.5 miles in warm weather almost entirely up fairly steep hills. If I let my attitude turn negative it makes it more difficult, but it's hard to enjoy a struggle that you wish you had trained more for. Still, I breathed into my belly, felt around my body as best I could (listened and adjusted/rebalanced), softened my foot strikes, and focused on my breathing and water intake (it can be hard when you're "sucking wind" and trying to suck water up through a camel pack hose, too; It often leaves me even more breathless). There was a thunderhead passing over and I got some nice growls from the clouds and that sort of things always taps into something primal within me. I let out a grateful "kiai" and felt refreshed...relatively speaking. The joy of it was a second wind before I had to finish the last of this uphill run with the Doomsday Hill (Bloomsday, anyone?). I walked most of that hill, still trying to listen to my body and cultivating my ki; I tried to balance drive with relaxation and by paying attention to my body, I was able to run toward the top and then sprint across the transfer line.
It wasn't until my 3rd leg though (4 miles), that I was able to have a sense of transcending the toughness of the task. I had about two hours of sleep in the last 48; it was a constant uphill run again (the theme for my race legs this year, perfectly echoing for me this year so far), a bit more gradual than the first, but in hotter weather. I finished strong and felt absolutely awesome afterward. It was a matter of finding rhythm of body mind and breath, and striving for fullness in each aspect, balancing drive with relaxation. I had to be in the moment to listen to what it suggested I could do to feel better. For me, this is all Aikido...there was also the periodic tekubishindo and a lot of cutting actions involved. With each raising of the blade (to about chudan) I connected the movement to my opposite foot and imagined a string lifting it. It was a study of connection and drive and joy. Can't wait until next year.

I'm sure there are many people who would point out that you could have cultivated that attitude by engaging in any number of non-Aikido practices. While that may be so, the fact is that you didn't. Yours, along with the examples cited by Mary E. are what Tohei called applications of Ki in daily life. When we take our practice out of the dojo we begin to see the range of possibilities available to us for applying what we've learned on the mat to situations off the mat.

Ron

mathewjgano
08-19-2014, 02:14 PM
I'm sure there are many people who would point out that you could have cultivated that attitude by engaging in any number of non-Aikido practices. While that may be so, the fact is that you didn't. Yours, along with the examples cited by Mary E. are what Tohei called applications of Ki in daily life. When we take our practice out of the dojo we begin to see the range of possibilities available to us for applying what we've learned on the mat to situations off the mat.

Ron

Well, to be fair I did begin much of that before Aikido. Going "mindless" and focusing on rhythm and breath was how I used to induce runners' high during training runs in soccer practice as a kid. It happened once on accident and I was surprised at how pleasant it was and how little I hurt later, despite the extra speed I ran with. But Aikido has become another lens for me to view things like this. To my mind there is "the way of things," and then there are the myriad ways people go about learning about their little corner of "the way." Because I do largely have Aikido in mind now while I'm trying to refine the actions of my mind and body, that's typically what I refer to.

Carsten Möllering
08-19-2014, 02:14 PM
Maybe here we meet us in a way:
... I did my ki exercises ...
... applications of Ki in daily life.
I also do ki exercises. The chinese word for that is qi (ki) gong (exercise, work). And there are a whole lot of applications in daily life! Of which improving health is only one of them. It also relates to changes in the body and mind.
One very interesting application of qi gong is called aikidō. It's a Japanese budō, i.e. martial way.

Thank you! Have to think about that. :)

Mary Eastland
08-21-2014, 10:09 AM
As another application of mindfulness (Application of Aikido) in everyday life I changed my key carrying option at work today. I am noticing the habits I have when I go to open a door. I still reach to my belt even though my keys are not there anymore. The keys are hanging from wrist.

I want to be in the now with the keys yet unconsciousness is here at every door. Literally. I will slow down a lot and keep at it. :)

Janet Rosen
08-21-2014, 10:41 AM
As another application of mindfulness (Application of Aikido) in everyday life I changed my key carrying option at work today. I am noticing the habits I have when I go to open a door. I still reach to my belt even though my keys are not there anymore. The keys are hanging from wrist.

I want to be in the now with the keys yet unconsciousness is here at every door. Literally. I will slow down a lot and keep at it. :)

You are using Aikido, the martial art, as a tool to teach mindfulness.
Many tools can teach mindfulness.
Logically it cannot be inferred that any tool that teaches mindfulness is Aikido.
Nor can it be inferred that application of mindfulness, which can be learned via a variety of tools, is an application of Aikido.

RonRagusa
08-21-2014, 11:03 AM
Logically it cannot be inferred that any tool that teaches mindfulness is Aikido.

Straw man argument since that inference was never asserted in Mary's post.

Nor can it be inferred that application of mindfulness, which can be learned via a variety of tools, is an application of Aikido.

The fact that mindfulness can be learned via a variety of tools is irrelevant. In Mary's case it was learned via Aikido study and is applied to situations in daily life as a direct result of that practice.

Ron

lbb
08-21-2014, 11:55 AM
Straw man argument since that inference was never asserted in Mary's post.

But then there's this:

"As another application of mindfulness (Application of Aikido) in everyday life"

Perhaps Mary meant to phrase it differently, but that kind of parallel construction does kind of look like she thinks mindfulness and Aikido are one and the same, doesn't it?

Mary Eastland
08-21-2014, 12:50 PM
Here is an update in the practice of today...it has been challenging. I have forgotten my keys and then I forgot the phone. Then I left the phone in my bike basket. Changing one habit has played havoc with my center.

I like how changing a habit can shake me up and help me become more aware.

RonRagusa
08-21-2014, 12:53 PM
But then there's this:

"As another application of mindfulness (Application of Aikido) in everyday life"

Perhaps Mary meant to phrase it differently, but that kind of parallel construction does kind of look like she thinks mindfulness and Aikido are one and the same, doesn't it?

Yes it does look like they're one in the same. For her mindfulness is a trait she has developed as a result of her training. She might have phrased it differently, though knowing her as I do I understood what she meant right off.

Ron

lbb
08-21-2014, 01:35 PM
Here is an update in the practice of today...it has been challenging. I have forgotten my keys and then I forgot the phone. Then I left the phone in my bike basket. Changing one habit has played havoc with my center.

I like how changing a habit can shake me up and help me become more aware.

I see the value in breaking habits, but I'd choose something other than my keys and phone to practice with ;)

(because, see, I've done that...)

sakumeikan
08-21-2014, 02:09 PM
I see the value in breaking habits, but I'd choose something other than my keys and phone to practice with ;)

(because, see, I've done that...)
Dear Mary,
With the exception of women in a nunnery/monks in a monastery I usually find that people rarely change their habits.Very difficult to change ones basic nature.Anyway for myself I like devouring creamy doughnuts ,supping gin and tonics.Who wants to eat[for example ] cardboard food /drink smoothies just to lose a spare tyre?Life would not be worth living without the odd vice or two.Unless you have some mean streak[eg stealing candy bars of school kids , putting foreign coins in the church collection plate ,a bad habit has its good points.Nowadays my missus only talks to me to chastise
and whinge to me about my own bad habits.Cheers, Joe

Phil Van Treese
08-21-2014, 02:14 PM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has. Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have. I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing. Mr. Nidan was bounced from one end of the floor to the other for the next 15 minutes and he found who was good and who wasn't. I could've let his snide remark go and used the aiki to avoid it but it just hit me wrong so "he went to school"! Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.

sakumeikan
08-21-2014, 04:21 PM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has. Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have. I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing. Mr. Nidan was bounced from one end of the floor to the other for the next 15 minutes and he found who was good and who wasn't. I could've let his snide remark go and used the aiki to avoid it but it just hit me wrong so "he went to school"! Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.
Dear Phil,
An extremely high ranking Nidan?How do you arrive at the conclusion that the guy is high ranking?Then again its all relative.In the kingdom of the blind a one eyed chap is king.Did you get pleasure bouncing this guy around?Whydid you not just humour the guy and carry on with your own work?He might have been wrong in his assessment of your skills but would you say that you treated the guy in a correct manner?Seems to me you need to consider your own actions rather than
take umbrage at the guy.Giving him a drubbing is imo not the way to conduct oneself.Remember what goes around goes around.As far as your behaviour is concerned here maybe you should have known better ?? Cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan
08-21-2014, 04:23 PM
Dear Phil,
An extremely high ranking Nidan?How do you arrive at the conclusion that the guy is high ranking?Then again its all relative.In the kingdom of the blind a one eyed chap is king.Did you get pleasure bouncing this guy around?Whydid you not just humour the guy and carry on with your own work?He might have been wrong in his assessment of your skills but would you say that you treated the guy in a correct manner?Seems to me you need to consider your own actions rather than
take umbrage at the guy.Giving him a drubbing is imo not the way to conduct oneself.Remember what goes around goes around.As far as your behaviour is concerned here maybe you should have known better ?? Cheers, Joe.
Ps .You say you are confrontational?Maybe next outing you will confront the wrong guy and end up taking second prize?

sakumeikan
08-21-2014, 04:46 PM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has. Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have. I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing. Mr. Nidan was bounced from one end of the floor to the other for the next 15 minutes and he found who was good and who wasn't. I could've let his snide remark go and used the aiki to avoid it but it just hit me wrong so "he went to school"! Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.

Phil,
I looked at your public profile 6th Dan Judo /7th Dan Aikido .You set about a Nidan , showing him the error of his ways.I would have thought that you being graded in the above disciplines, drubbing a nidan would have been easy peasy.In Glasgow where I was born and bred you would have be known as a Liberty Taker.Joe.

Janet Rosen
08-21-2014, 07:50 PM
Yes it does look like they're one in the same. For her mindfulness is a trait she has developed as a result of her training. She might have phrased it differently, though knowing her as I do I understood what she meant right off.

Ron

Well, this is not the first time Mary E has made an assertion and after one or two folks directly replied to exactly what was asserted it has boiled down to it not being expressed quite as intended. Alas, we are not mind readers.

lbb
08-21-2014, 08:14 PM
Dear Mary,
With the exception of women in a nunnery/monks in a monastery I usually find that people rarely change their habits.Very difficult to change ones basic nature.Anyway for myself I like devouring creamy doughnuts ,supping gin and tonics.Who wants to eat[for example ] cardboard food /drink smoothies just to lose a spare tyre?Life would not be worth living without the odd vice or two.Unless you have some mean streak[eg stealing candy bars of school kids , putting foreign coins in the church collection plate ,a bad habit has its good points.Nowadays my missus only talks to me to chastise
and whinge to me about my own bad habits.Cheers, Joe

Hi Joe,

I wasn't thinking so much of changing habits in order to lose the bad ones (although I suppose that's a good thing). I was thinking instead of a teaching I once read that said that any habit (whether it's good or bad or however we categorize it) can be problematic, if it gets so ingrained that we can't do without it...then it's addiction. Changing/breaking habits is one way to cultivate mental flexibility, which is invaluable in dealing with changing circumstances beyond our control. I see the sense in that. So, no, it's not about making yourself miserable in some quest for virtue -- it's just about not getting in a rut (or, maintaining the ability to cope when you get knocked out of your rut).

Adam Huss
08-21-2014, 10:00 PM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has. Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have. I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing. Mr. Nidan was bounced from one end of the floor to the other for the next 15 minutes and he found who was good and who wasn't. I could've let his snide remark go and used the aiki to avoid it but it just hit me wrong so "he went to school"! Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.
Thats called lack of emotional responsibility - basically, letting someone else have power over you by them dictating your actions rather than being in control of yourself.

kewms
08-21-2014, 11:04 PM
Phil,
I looked at your public profile 6th Dan Judo /7th Dan Aikido .You set about a Nidan , showing him the error of his ways.I would have thought that you being graded in the above disciplines, drubbing a nidan would have been easy peasy.In Glasgow where I was born and bred you would have be known as a Liberty Taker.Joe.

*shrug*

It *is* a martial art, someone at nidan level *should* be able to take decent ukemi, and it was a class setting. I don't see what's so terrible about providing a physical demonstration of one's skills when one is requested. Maybe if more people were able/willing to respond in that way we'd hear less BS about how "aikido doesn't work."

I'd be more interested in hearing the person's teacher explain how someone with such a complete lack of manners or humility managed to get promoted to nidan.

Katherine

sakumeikan
08-22-2014, 01:08 AM
*shrug*

It *is* a martial art, someone at nidan level *should* be able to take decent ukemi, and it was a class setting. I don't see what's so terrible about providing a physical demonstration of one's skills when one is requested. Maybe if more people were able/willing to respond in that way we'd hear less BS about how "aikido doesn't work."

I'd be more interested in hearing the person's teacher explain how someone with such a complete lack of manners or humility managed to get promoted to nidan.

Katherine

Dear Katherine,
I would suggest to you that this was not a question of the senior person demonstrating his abilities.Phil stated he sent the person 'back to school 'and he then went on to give the guy a 15 min towsing. Well I do not know about you but anybody who does this sort of thing in my book is a person who takes liberties.Whether or not the nidan could take ukemi is not the issue.The junior may well have spoken out of turn but the senior abused his position. As far as the nidan requesting that he should receive a drubbing how do come to that conclusion?Do you think the Nidan said,'come on Phil, throw me around like a rag doll for 15 mins ?'Phil rather than shrug off the comments of the nidan ,used his superior skills to demolish the guy.This is taking advantage of the junior, in a word Phil was in this instance a bully.
The senior clearly got upset about the juniors comments and the senior decided to give the junior a hard time.Do you think this is good behaviour from the senior?You say if more people could respond the way Phil did there would be less people saying Aikido doesnt work.I do not see the encounter between two combatants , where the skills differential is clear, as an example of Aikido working .

kewms
08-22-2014, 01:26 AM
I think that it is perfectly legitimate to view a direct insult to one's skills as a request for a demonstration, and I think that has been the case for pretty much the entire history of the martial arts, both East and West.

Beyond that, I wasn't there. Neither were you. And the nidan in question hasn't shared his side of the story.

I have, however, been thrown around like a rag doll on more than one occasion. My partners had good control; I was never in any danger of injury. It was a good learning experience.

Katherine

sakumeikan
08-22-2014, 02:01 AM
I think that it is perfectly legitimate to view a direct insult to one's skills as a request for a demonstration, and I think that has been the case for pretty much the entire history of the martial arts, both East and West.

Beyond that, I wasn't there. Neither were you. And the nidan in question hasn't shared his side of the story.

I have, however, been thrown around like a rag doll on more than one occasion. My partners had good control; I was never in any danger of injury. It was a good learning experience.

Katherine

Dear Katherine,
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.
So if you think someone treating you badly trying to prove his point is possibly ' good' learning experience what would you consider to be a bad learning experience?

Mary Eastland
08-22-2014, 05:28 AM
Well, this is not the first time Mary E has made an assertion and after one or two folks directly replied to exactly what was asserted it has boiled down to it not being expressed quite as intended. Alas, we are not mind readers.

Alas, you are not. If only every mind worked like mine does :D Thank you again for the correction, Janet.

It does provide another chance to practice mindfulness and in my case...emphasis mine.. I would like to let correction pass just as I would like to let praise pass."Asking myself is it useful or is it not?" I am still human and some get stuck in the craw. Yet I continue to be mindful and watch and see how I react.
So thank you for the opportunity to train in dally life.:)

Mary Eastland
08-22-2014, 05:35 AM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has. Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have. I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing. Mr. Nidan was bounced from one end of the floor to the other for the next 15 minutes and he found who was good and who wasn't. I could've let his snide remark go and used the aiki to avoid it but it just hit me wrong so "he went to school"! Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.

So how did the nidan like this experience? Do you think he will be will be back? Does he think you are good now? Were you teaching the seminar? How did that happen if you were not teaching?...I think the instructor would have ended it. Did it make you feel better?...like you showed him? In the end does it matter? Did you really prove something?

I am asking out of curiosity..not judgement.

Saying that the way you were raised comes into play is not true because we always have a choice.

Mary Eastland
08-22-2014, 05:40 AM
Dear Katherine,
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.
So if you think someone treating you badly trying to prove his point is possibly ' good' learning experience what would you consider to be a bad learning experience?

Good point, Joe. In Aikido class there is an assumed code of safety. It is not the throwing...it is the intention. I am surprised the nidan stayed for it...if someone was angry while throwing me I might bow out.

lbb
08-22-2014, 07:32 AM
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?

Knowing Katherine as I think I do from this forum, I'd consider that extremely unlikely. Katherine has always struck me as an intelligent person with a sense of proportion and appropriate conduct. Someone like that surely understands the elementary fact of two radically different contexts, the dojo and "somewhere else other than a dojo", and the difference in what constitutes appropriate (and legal) conduct in the one vs. the other.

That is a long-winded way of saying that in the US, at least, getting into a fight in a bar is illegal, not to mention stupid, and Katherine isn't a stupid person.

I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.

Given the story as stated, I don't think it's unreasonable to criticize the extent of the reaction, or even the motives. I would not say that any reaction at all is unjustifiable. I think when you step out of your role and presume to instruct your practice partner, you'd better be pretty sure of your grounds for doing so, and very sure that what you're saying is correct (that they're actually doing something wrong and that the fault isn't just with your lack of understanding). And, if you should be wrong about any of that, you probably do have some kind of lesson coming.

kewms
08-22-2014, 09:32 AM
Dear Katherine,
Soi if you were outside in a bar or somewhere else other than a dojo and somebody implied you were useless at Aikido would you see this criticism as a direct insult?Would you then go outside, put your dukes up and teach this upstart a sharp lesson?I have been thrown around by many a shihan in my day , but Ii have never been thrown around by any guy who tried to prove he/she was a big man.As I stated clearly its not the fact that the Nidan got tossed around.I am being critical and condemning the seniors behaviour and his motives for doing what he did.
So if you think someone treating you badly trying to prove his point is possibly ' good' learning experience what would you consider to be a bad learning experience?

I think I qualified my original response by noting that this took place in a class setting. Yes, of course, the real world is different.

On the other hand, I wouldn't particularly recommend that the nidan carry his behavior out into the real world, either.

There are lots of bad learning experiences out there. Certainly getting injured qualifies, and that didn't happen in this case. However, as noted above, I also don't think the nidan's previous teachers were doing him any favors by allowing him to believe that insulting strangers is acceptable or wise.

Katherine

Dan Rubin
08-22-2014, 01:18 PM
Aikido is a great martial art to show people a different path in life, how you SHOULD react to certain situations etc, etc, etc. Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation. However, a person will always refer back to how he/she was brought up and the character h/s has…. Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.

It seems to me that Phil is not asserting that his behavior toward the student he sarcastically described as an "extremely high ranking nidan" was proper, he's asserting that aikido's lessons are unlikely to overcome a student's basic nature, and he offers himself as an example.

While he refers to aikido's lessons, he doesn't specify whether his encounter with the nidan was in aikido or judo. Suppose, for discussion purposes, that the encounter was in judo. Would that change one's opinion of his behavior?

sakumeikan
08-22-2014, 04:51 PM
It seems to me that Phil is not asserting that his behavior toward the student he sarcastically described as an "extremely high ranking nidan" was proper, he's asserting that aikido's lessons are unlikely to overcome a student's basic nature, and he offers himself as an example.

While he refers to aikido's lessons, he doesn't specify whether his encounter with the nidan was in aikido or judo. Suppose, for discussion purposes, that the encounter was in judo. Would that change one's opinion of his behavior?

Dear Dan,
No.Whether it was Aikido /Judo or whatever is irrelevant.Taking liberties with a person who is technically inferior to prove a point imo is abuse.Cheers, Joe.

RonRagusa
08-22-2014, 06:19 PM
Dear Dan,
No.Whether it was Aikido /Judo or whatever is irrelevant.Taking liberties with a person who is technically inferior to prove a point imo is abuse.Cheers, Joe.

Have to agree Joe. Aikido training, if nothing else, has taught me the truth that is expressed by the old adage: Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me.

Ron

Janet Rosen
08-22-2014, 09:41 PM
Alas, you are not. If only every mind worked like mine does :D Thank you again for the correction, Janet.

It does provide another chance to practice mindfulness and in my case...emphasis mine.. I would like to let correction pass just as I would like to let praise pass."Asking myself is it useful or is it not?" I am still human and some get stuck in the craw. Yet I continue to be mindful and watch and see how I react.
So thank you for the opportunity to train in dally life.:)

Mary, my writing on aikiweb is a form of practice for me too, as it happens, striving to communicate very precisely and neutrally, so thank you for responding with equanimity. :)

JP3
08-23-2014, 11:20 AM
I walk to work and home each work day, and while walking along the sidewalk, crossing the street, going up the parking lot, I "wargame" with myself on the ukemi necessary if such-&0-such weird event occurred, how I'd roll/fall to get away from the problem.

Weirdest one I ever came up with was a smallish satellite falling out of orbit coming from directly overhead, but with my not knowing the angle of trajectory.... knotty problem, that.

Dan Rubin
08-23-2014, 11:46 AM
With regard to my response to Phil Van Treese's post: In aikido practice, uke puts himself/herself at nage's mercy, but in judo practice there are two nages, each attempting to throw the other, in a contest. (And, now that I think about it, if Phil was describing an aikido seminar, didn't he have to take turns as uke for half of that 15 minute drubbing?)

Phil responded to his rude nidan partner with anger, and that was not a proper response (and he agrees), but as for the physical punishment he imposed on the nidan, I think it sounds more extreme to an aikido ear than to a judo ear.

We can learn or not learn many things from aikido, as we can from any activity in our daily lives, whether the activity "teaches" those things or not. The many things we learn or not learn may not be consistent with each other. Hopefully, we do the best we can.

sakumeikan
08-23-2014, 02:21 PM
With regard to my response to Phil Van Treese's post: In aikido practice, uke puts himself/herself at nage's mercy, but in judo practice there are two nages, each attempting to throw the other, in a contest. (And, now that I think about it, if Phil was describing an aikido seminar, didn't he have to take turns as uke for half of that 15 minute drubbing?)

Phil responded to his rude nidan partner with anger, and that was not a proper response (and he agrees), but as for the physical punishment he imposed on the nidan, I think it sounds more extreme to an aikido ear than to a judo ear.

We can learn or not learn many things from aikido, as we can from any activity in our daily lives, whether the activity "teaches" those things or not. The many things we learn or not learn may not be consistent with each other. Hopefully, we do the best we can.

Dear Dan,
As far as I can tell Phil posted his blog about the nidan on the 21-8-2014.As far as I can tell Phil has not posted any other blogs concerning his encounter with the nidan.If I am correct here regarding the blogs from Phil, how do you know Phil feels that his response was not a proper/correct response ?You seem to be saying Phil is a bit contrite for being angry and drubbing the nidan
i see know evidence or any sign of Phil feeling contrite / sorry for his behaviour.Pray tell me how you arrive at the conclusion he has express regret?As I stated I see no more blogs from Phil herein these pages.If there is a blog where Phil admits he was acting badly , please tell me where I can read the blog. Phil as far as I can tell has maintained a deafening silence about the incident.

Dan Rubin
08-23-2014, 04:01 PM
Aikido will not change you and your attitude but it will show you what would be a better way to handle any given situation.... Unfortunately, I am very confrontational and you can ask my class that. I will back off to a degree in a situation and then the buck stops with an attitude that I have.... Aiki will show you a peaceful way to handle situations but sometimes that way you were raised comes into play and the aiki will take a back seat.

Joe

I took this to mean, not that Phil is contrite, but that he agrees there was "a better way" and a "peaceful way" to handle the situation with the nidan, and so I concluded that he agrees that his behavior was improper. You're quite right, thinking there's a better way and thinking one's behavior was improper are two different things. I don't know Phil and I apologize to him if I misinterpreted his post.

Carsten Möllering
08-25-2014, 09:32 AM
... if someone was angry while throwing me I might bow out.In everyday life you can't bow out.

If I get it rigth and you actually don't practice with angry or agressive partners I think you miss an interesting and most instructive part of keiko. In my experience it's not what I like a lot, but from what I learn a lot.

That said:

Why do you think it to be improper to make a partner experience the answer to a "question" he raised? Isn't exactly this the "language" we are using during keiko?
Sure, you can give uke only a smile and leave him alone, not giving any feedback through your technique. That may feel nice. Maybe. But you pay the price that your practice is hollow and neither you nor your partner is learning anything.

I think it to be very important to develop a personality and spirituality that don't has to react to every emotional challenge, like beining questioned, in everyday life. I think this is crucial.
But - practicing a budō means actually reacting to a challenge in a certain way. Meditation etc. is a way to learn to smile, to just observe, to not be affected, to neither act out, nor to suppress. budō is a way to engage, it's a certain way to act. Using one's body, in aikidō. Or one's sword, when doing ken jutsu.

So, with that in mind, the questions you raised are kind of unfamiliar to me:

So how did the nidan like this experience? Do you think he will be will be back? We are talking about a nidan, i.e. an advanced student. If he is not able to deal with experiences he doesn't like it is his turn to learn to.
It is his committement. If he doesn't come back, he doesn't come back. If he doesn't continue to practice aikidō, he simply will do something else. It is his decision. It is not tori's task to make someone come back to the dōjō.

Does he think you are good now? He had to realize that his assumption and his judgdement where wrong. To learn to balance one's view of a situation and "reality", seems to me a very basic but nevertheless important aspect of learning a budō.
It is not important, whether this nidan thinks, Phil is good or not. But it is important for him to realize, that he obviousely is better than he thought. Just that.

Were you teaching the seminar? How did that happen if you were not teaching?...I think the instructor would have ended it.Ok, when this is, what teachers in your context do, you are completely right! And at the same time this would change the view on the other questions you raised. So I think, your thoughts are completely meaningfull and consistent in your context!

In my context a teacher simply would not interfere. The only exception would be if there is the danger that someone get's hurt.
So tori and aite are expected to solve their problems on their own. Best you can have is sensei scolding you by shaking his head ...
But solving your problems, your prejudices, your emotions, your personal conflicts during keiko is part of what is to be learned. At least in my context.

RonRagusa
08-25-2014, 02:15 PM
If I get it rigth and you actually don't practice with angry or agressive partners I think you miss an interesting and most instructive part of keiko. In my experience it's not what I like a lot, but from what I learn a lot.

There's a world of difference between angry and aggressive. I wouldn't hesitate to practice with an aggressive partner; an angry one(?), most likely not unless I knew and trusted him/her in a way that only can be built up over time.

Why do you think it to be improper to make a partner experience the answer to a "question" he raised?

In the case under discussion there was a verbal exchange, so why do you put the word question in quotes? A physical response to a verbal taunt is evidence of a lack of control and a nage who lacks control is a potential safety concern. I would expect that kind of display from a beginner and put a stop to it if it occurred in one of my classes. As an instructor I would hold someone with decades of experience to a higher standard when it comes to behavior on the mat.

Isn't exactly this the "language" we are using during keiko?

Anger motivated technique? No.

Sure, you can give uke only a smile and leave him alone, not giving any feedback through your technique.

There is more teaching in that example than spending 15 minutes abusing your partner. All you teach him/her with the latter is that it's ok to physically act out when angered. That's how bullies beget more bullies. Do you think that the nidan will hesitate to behave the same way some time in the future when he finds himself in the same position as Phil? Perhaps, perhaps not, but I think the chances are more likely in the affirmative.

I think it to be very important to develop a personality and spirituality that don't has to react to every emotional challenge, like beining questioned, in everyday life. I think this is crucial.
But - practicing a budō means actually reacting to a challenge in a certain way. Meditation etc. is a way to learn to smile, to just observe, to not be affected, to neither act out, nor to suppress. budō is a way to engage, it's a certain way to act. Using one's body, in aikidō. Or one's sword, when doing ken jutsu.

Aikido is a holistic practice in that it polishes both the body and spirit of the student. I don't think using the "well it's budo" rationale to excuse abusive behavior is valid. The incident described doesn't rise to the level of engagement. It was simply an act of pulling rank on a junior and lashing out in anger.

But solving your problems, your prejudices, your emotions, your personal conflicts during keiko is part of what is to be learned. At least in my context.

I guess we have to chalk up our differences in this aspect of training to cultural variations. My thought here is that when you enter my dojo you leave your problems, prejudices, negative emotions and personal conflicts at the door.

As always Carsten it's a pleasure to be able to read one of your reasoned responses, even though we are on opposite sides of this issue.

Ron

Carsten Möllering
08-25-2014, 11:57 PM
As always Carsten it's a pleasure to be able to read one of your reasoned responses, even though we are on opposite sides of this issue.Thank you. The same to you! (correct for lat.: dito?)
And thank you - and also to Mary - to allways trigger my personal points and stepping into my blind spots ... ;)

lbb
08-26-2014, 10:12 AM
There is more teaching in that example than spending 15 minutes abusing your partner. All you teach him/her with the latter is that it's ok to physically act out when angered.

I disagree. I think you teach the individual that it's not wise to say stupid things that deliberately provoke a fallible human being. In the future, this lesson could prevent this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance -- from making this mistake with someone who did not exercise any restraint.

You've characterized the response as "15 minutes abusing your partner", and that's met with general consensus in this thread. I don't agree with the response, and yet I think we should remember that the response was modulated -- not as much as you or I or many people might have liked, sure, but it was also not an act of uncontrolled anger and aggression. Had it been, it would have ended much sooner than 15 minutes, and uke would have gone to the hospital. Instead uke took 15 minutes of ukemi that was more rigorous than he would have liked. I'm not making an "at least he didn't break the guy's neck" argument here. I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.

mathewjgano
08-26-2014, 12:06 PM
I disagree. I think you teach the individual that it's not wise to say stupid things that deliberately provoke a fallible human being. In the future, this lesson could prevent this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance -- from making this mistake with someone who did not exercise any restraint.

You've characterized the response as "15 minutes abusing your partner", and that's met with general consensus in this thread. I don't agree with the response, and yet I think we should remember that the response was modulated -- not as much as you or I or many people might have liked, sure, but it was also not an act of uncontrolled anger and aggression. Had it been, it would have ended much sooner than 15 minutes, and uke would have gone to the hospital. Instead uke took 15 minutes of ukemi that was more rigorous than he would have liked. I'm not making an "at least he didn't break the guy's neck" argument here. I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.

Well, and this was just his relatively quick characterization of it. For all we know uke had the time of his life and was thinking, "now this is what I'm talking about!" Maybe not, but maybe. Teachable moments can't always be made clear with words, particularly when the author self-effacingly put his frustration into the forefront of the context provided. I was bounced around the mat for the entire (Shodokan) randori portion of keiko once (I took turns being uke and "nage" with the same basic result being that I remained the receiver the whole time). It was fun and informative. Different context and feelings on all parties involved, almost certainly, but still the same basic exercise.

RonRagusa
08-26-2014, 04:48 PM
...this individual -- who clearly was suffering from considerable arrogance...

Phil wrote: "I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing." Emphasis added

Now perhaps the attitude was in the ear of the person listening and not coming out of the mouth of the person speaking. Not having been there, I don't know; but then neither does anyone else. Phil admits that "Unfortunately, I am very confrontational..." So it's possible that his uke could have meant his remarks to be heard in an entirely different manner than Phil interpreted them. In any event it isn't entirely obvious that Phil's uke "...was suffering from considerable arrogance..."

I'm just saying that some of your statements have drifted into the absolute, and that's not supported by what we know of this situation, and maybe a bit of perspective is needed.

Yeah, I can do that sometimes when I'm on a roll. A blind spot, as Carsten mentioned earlier. Doesn't hurt to have someone step into it as a reminder to occasionally adjust the rear view mirror.

Ron

lbb
08-26-2014, 06:44 PM
Phil wrote: "I was at a seminar awhile ago and was working with an extremly high ranking nidan who, with a little attitude, informed me I really wasn't very good and that I should know better of what I was doing." Emphasis added

And there's some emphasis from me. Based on that, I stand by what I wrote. Feel free to disagree as to the degree of arrogance exemplified by those words.

Keith Larman
08-26-2014, 09:34 PM
I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?

Janet Rosen
08-26-2014, 10:42 PM
I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?

Yep.

Mary Eastland
08-27-2014, 06:16 AM
I'm imagine Phil there has read over the variety of replies and is shaking his head saying "none of you got what I was saying". Seriously, without some clarification from Phil this is one gigantic Rohrschach ink blot for everyone, what they want to say or what they'd love to respond to. I mean, really, folks, is this going anywhere?

This is a discussion forum. If someone puts something on here I think it is meant for discussion. :p Otherwise...there would be a lot of blank space. :D

If he is shaking his head... he could give some clarification, otherwise... we can discuss it. It is an interesting subject. I am surprised at the differences of opinion.

When someone posts an experience it gives us all an idea of something real that happened. Like Mary M has stated before it is like touching an elephant blindfolded. Yet the discussions help me think and re-examine my ideas.

Keith Larman
08-27-2014, 11:31 AM
Post deleted on second thought. Read next post instead. Pot meet kettle...

Keith Larman
08-27-2014, 11:33 AM
At this point I'm reminded of my father telling me that "If you don't have anything of value to offer the least you can do is shut up and walk away. The very least."

Thanks, Dad.

phitruong
08-27-2014, 12:53 PM
At this point I'm reminded of my father telling me that "If you don't have anything of value to offer the least you can do is shut up and walk away. The very least."

Thanks, Dad.

why are you still here, dude? don't you have to go and shake down some tree somewhere?

my aikido leans heavy toward irimi. so if i forgot my keys, like Mary, then i would be kicking down the door. that would entering as in part of breaking and entering. i am always focus on the maai and deai to the closest coffee and donuts. i found that blending didn't work. only entering and consuming worked. :)

MsForeverlotus
08-31-2014, 04:06 PM
Thank you for your responses everyone. I enjoy reading the diverse opinions and mindsets.

Currawong
08-31-2014, 04:44 PM
Probably the most often I use the lessons of Aikido in daily life is when I can't do something, I know that I'm going to have to work at it to be able to do it. :)

Currawong
09-01-2014, 07:34 AM
I thought I’d give a shot at answering this question in a way that isn’t as silly as my last comment (and sorry for the double-post, but I guess there is a time limit on editing posts).

My feeling now, after having left Aikido, explored other things and come back is that I apply the same things that I apply in my daily life that I apply in Aikido. It is more so that Aikido puts a form on things I understand, or have realised with myself. Explaining that is going to be difficult.

What I saw in myself and other people when I started Aikido is that the difficulties I had and have doing the techniques well were, to some degree, a reflection of aspects of myself that I had been having trouble with. Fears, doubts, insecurities and all of that come right out in my techniques. They come right out in my life at times of pressure too. Just as events invoke all these issues, so too does having to do the different techniques on different people (especially that big foreign guy who gave me concussion in ’98 in Tokyo who even the teachers had trouble moving).

In a similar parallel, in my break from Aikido, I had chiropractic treatment. It wasn’t unusual for people to have a treatment and suddenly break down and cry as an emotion that had rooted itself in the body had manifest itself as a mis-aligned vertebrae. I did Emotional Freedom Technique and learned much the same thing about the body holding onto emotional energy as well. I realised that will power could overcome illness and it is possible to cure oneself (I just wish I was good at that, I’m not, and the foot I landed hard on still hurts over a week later, despite my best efforts at…oh never mind).

Most importantly I learned two things: Keeping your one-point is important, always. Once you “get it” physically then it is hard to move you on the mat if you don't want to move somewhere. Once you “get it” outside the dojo, events around you do not move you emotionally as they once did (not even that stupid ****** who decided to change lanes into the lane I was moving into in heavy traffic, almost causing an epic accident).

The trick is always being in that “I get it” one-point balance/focus all the time. That ain’t easy. The problem is that we aren’t always the same person with the same focus throughout the day. We are a different person at work, at home, with old high-school friends, browsing stuff we like in a store, or even when we drive a car. I found a way to work on these different personalities we have, similarly to the way I work on keeping my one-point in different techniques, some of which I’m reasonably good at (for where I’m at) and for the ones I’m not so good at. This is because I found that in an Aikido class these different aspects of myself can be invoked depending on the technique, as long as there are at least moderately more senior students there. It requires developing a degree of genuine conscious awareness even as one's personalities shift. Easier said than done. In my old class before I stopped I was one of the senior students, so I could hide behind my seniority and ability relative to the others to hide my fears. This was bad and I knew it and part of the reason I quit practicing all those years ago.

Like the chiropractor working on the body to re-align not just one’s physical well-being, but one’s physical/emotional/spiritual well-being, similarly by being “attacked” by my fears and learning to re-align and blend the negative and positive into something greater, I can use Aikido practice to work on my self and my life as a whole, applying “technique” within myself.

This is by far not a complete explanation

fatebass21
12-28-2014, 08:28 AM
In a similar parallel, in my break from Aikido, I had chiropractic treatment. It wasn’t unusual for people to have a treatment and suddenly break down and cry as an emotion that had rooted itself in the body had manifest itself as a mis-aligned vertebrae. I did Emotional Freedom Technique and learned much the same thing about the body holding onto emotional energy as well. I realised that will power could overcome illness and it is possible to cure oneself

Nice post Amos. I am going to look into the EFT :)