View Full Version : Aikido in daily life

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08-20-2002, 05:00 PM
I join this community with warm greetings from the south of the world, Chile.

I will like to start sharing (asking? ... my english in not good yet) this question:

¿what changes you can see in the way that you live or relates with others in your daily life, since you started practicing aikido?

Please, tell me about your experiences ... I promise to have pacience to hear

Best Regards

Deb Fisher
08-20-2002, 05:31 PM
I am less hard on myself, because of this I learn more things. I think this makes my appreciation of most things deeper. I am better at making mistakes than I used to be, I am (very slowly) becoming more comfortable with letting a situation unfold, rather than rushing to resolve whatever it is immediately.

And my knees hurt a little more, which is okay, because my mind hurts a lot less.

08-21-2002, 01:17 AM
I am trying to see things beyond what they just appear to be.

For example: our training is not hard and 'realistic', so on a superficial level it appears that my aikido is not very practical.

Old me - go away, find another art that looks practical and practice there.

New me - train harder (don't expect the teacher to teach you aikido since learning yourself is the only way), be patient (see if you fare well when attacking in a sword match), believe in holistic training (long term training for long term improvement).

Although at times, when I read Bruce Lee's comment about martial arts being the only place where fat and out of shape ppl can masquerade as experts do put me down sometimes. In a way its true, sometimes i wonder if we delude ourselves in that Aikido is an art where the old and the weak can excel in because in reality we're to lazy to make ourselves strong and fast like Bruce Lee.

After wondering all that, I try to bring my mind back to center and persevere. And I hope that is Aikido.

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2002, 07:03 AM
Bruce Lee was a great martial artist and had many, many insights into the arts that he exposed westerners to that had never really understood MA. So, that is one reason he was so popular (that and his charisma and his fame in movies).

People delude themselves into all kinds of things, but those delusions apply to the person, and not the art!

All that said, I believe that a person is made up of mind, body, and spirit. To master aikido is to master ourselves....to master ourselves requires that we do the best we can to develop our mind, body, and spirit...equally.

Although, for some of us, (myself included) that would require us to give up nachos on occassion!

But, he was young, strong, and in shape. So naturally he was critical of people that did not meet his paradigm.

His art, JKD, or Wing Chung, Kung Fu, were fairly external in nature. (Although Bruce was definitely on the right path!)

It is possible to be a middle aged, white guy, that has good Ki (read stomach) and still be a master.

However, I have run into the type you are talking about, and Bruce is eluding to. To me they are very, very apparent!

08-21-2002, 07:35 AM
Hi !

Just a note,in Tai Chi the rule is - the older the Chi is the better you become and the longer you can train,in some styles you look like a sick cat while training but in

reality it's result of a well developed T'an Tien (big ball in center)and so you look fat

and lazy but the reality is far different.

yours - Chr.B.

Anat Amitay
08-21-2002, 08:01 AM
Hi there!

I'm commenting back on the first question in this link, how aikido effected me.

Well, I'm practicing for over 2.5 years , which is not that much, but I do know that aikido made a difference in my life.

Ever since I started training I have more paitence for people around me, especially people from very different backgrounds and beliefs. I am more open to try new things, be it visiting new places, taking interest in many different subjects etc...

I also think that my movement has changed. I don't seem to bump into people so much, I find myself stepping in a way that avoids clashing into people, even on crowdy streets. I think it's true for my physical movements and mental ones- the way I talk with people, avoiding unnecessary arguements etc.

Aikido is not only a MA, it's a way of life.


08-21-2002, 08:02 AM
Enter and blend with what is before I try to redirect it.

Until again,


08-21-2002, 09:33 AM
Stangely enough, when I started aikido (after a few years) I found walking on the streets anoying since people tend not to give you much space, resulting in me almost always having to move around people before they realise we were going to bump. Realising this I stopped moving, and ended up bumping into people. Now I just walk normally again. (maybe in the dojo the movement is different 'cos you are trying to draw your attacker in, whereas on the pavement people generally will move away).

I open and close doors, car boots/trunks with my centre. My posture is usually quite good and I can regulate my breathing to overcome stressful situations.

Aikido also got me interested in Japanese philosophy, through which I discovered Zen Buddhism and Taosim, which (though I'd always been interested in philosophy) was a radical mental change for me and gradually changed my whole attitude to life (though not necessarily my behaviour).

In personal relationships, I am alot more understanding of people who do vindicitve or horrible things, and realise that many of them need help or a disincentive, rather than blame. Also, I'm not afraid in physical confrontations - not just because I feel I have some ability to defend myself, but also because I don't feel that fighting is a physical challenge which I have to win (distinguishing between what you are fighting for, and winning a fight) and because I am less afraid of loosing something through dying. Feeling non-threatened also helps to diffuse situations, since I don't puff myself up and encourage violent behaviour.


08-21-2002, 09:58 AM
From the mental aspect of it, I usually don't let things upset me like they used to. I used to have a short fuse, and confront everything head on. Now, I sort of let everything roll off me, and don't let it bother me.

From the physical side of it, my blood pressure has been consistently lower - then again that might come from the mental part above :D I also golf, and I've noticed that I'm much more relaxed and am hitting the ball farther and better with less effort - and less practice. I've also recently started my flight lessons to get my pilot's license, and the instructors comment on how they can't rattle me, and how I'm always relaxed even with unfavorable landing conditions and simulated emergencies. I told them, "hey, I've been training in martial arts for a few years - and engine failing is less worrysome than being attacked by three black belts at once."

08-21-2002, 10:39 AM
For me it has been largely about having the insight that the places in which I struggle are usually of my own making. Just like in actual AiKiDo classes, knowing that doesn't always mean I know how to fix it, but at least it has redirected my focus from trying to fix the world to trying to accept myself and my tendency to struggle.

08-21-2002, 11:00 AM
I have been one year practicing. When I began I felt my movements very very very clumsy (today I feel only very clumsy). I discovered parts of the body that I have not idea that existed (they hurt me). But in some moment, I began to have the sensation of "something deep that begins to take other course".

At the present time, I am begininig to have the same sensation, but outside dojo, and it enchants to me. For example, I can see in the relations with my partners. They are very happy with my practices, my wife too, because now I anger less and I listen more. Something new about that is I have a better treatment with myself too (and I have the secret longing that stop the falling hair ... don't comment).

Other important thing is I start recovering the poetry of life, a kind of magic, in the sense to be open to unexpected situations and open to flow (no control) with the events and in the uncertainty.

One concern to move me to do the question is that I have a friend who has an important problem with alcohol, and I start to think that the practice could be a good therapy.

I ambicious to heard your experiences!

Thank you for share

08-21-2002, 12:39 PM
Oh, one more thing: it has made a big difference (I think) in dancing and in bed.


08-21-2002, 08:40 PM
I will have to say that one thing that I have changed outside of the dojo is that I am a calmer person. When I first started Aikido, everybody told me to calm down, relax. When it came to self-defense, I was one of those "No pain, no gain" believers, where everything had to be hard and fast. "Don't constipate the Chi" is something I heard a time or two. Whenever I was nage, I would be tense without even knowing it. I knew what uke was going to do, and in anticipation of what was going to happen, I would tense up, waiting to react.

Another thing I learned was to not worry about what uke was doing while I performed a technique. Instead, just concentrate on the technique and uke will "fall into place."

It's all about connection.


08-22-2002, 02:32 PM
Hi Christian and all!

I can relate to a lot of what has been said. I am glad that I am not the only one who opens doors using the centre (and unbendable arm). Some other thoughts.....

I practised Aikido for 2 years then changed jobs and couldn't make the classes. Out of the blue, some 12 months later, I received a letter telling me of a new dojo, within minutes of where I live. Uncanny! I have been going ever since. And I'm pleased to say that I'm getting my old feelings back.

I used to feel confident whilst walking through the city. I would hold my head up high and my overall awareness grew larger. I became more aware of the air through my fingers as I walked. I began to feel that the whole world was my home! (No I hadn't been smoking anything!)

The real bonus is that in the dojo I feel good. There are no worries, no troubles. The people I have met through Aikido are incredibly positive about life and appear unrushed. It's like one big family!

For those 12 months away from Aikido, I thought about it everyday. I noticed my posture slipping back and my head looking towards the ground as I walked.

How lucky are we that we have found such a wonderful art!

By the way, has anyone read the Celestine Prophecy (an adventure) by James Redfield? If not, it will really make you think about life, energy, coincidences etc. I can highly recommend it.


08-22-2002, 11:53 PM
¿Can you see some kind of influence in your partners, family, friends, etc? ¿which practices in the relationship do you think do that?