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Ta Kung
11-19-2002, 02:34 AM
Hi!

I've read somewhere that Aikido trainging helps you remain calm and not loosing your temper... Well, I've only practised for two years, so maybe I'm not supposed to get that effect yet.

The other day, I opened a door in my home, and accedently smashed my head with it (don't ask, I was looking the other way. Smooth, eh?) Anyway. I got pissed, and gave the door the beating of its life. The problem, according to my girlfriend, is that the door now has a hole from my fist in it. Maybe I need to learn how to not loose my temper... And if so, does Aikido training really work with anger management? Any ideas on how to practise this?

The story might be funny, but I am sincere. Oh, and I don't beat up people who piss me of. Only objects.

/Patrik

PS. It felt good beating up the defenceless door, who attacked me. But the beating my wallet will recive from buying a new one, isn't as good... :)

Kevin Wilbanks
11-19-2002, 03:38 AM
Well, considering you admit it was fun, and not only did it, but went on to brag about it on the net, I'd say the problem is that you really don't think there is anything wrong with throwing a fit and breaking stuff. I don't see what Aikido can do about that. I'd say you could either grow up or embrace your inner brat, but either way, stop bullshitting yourself and everyone else. I for one am not buying it.

ian
11-19-2002, 03:45 AM
I don't think just training in aikido would relieve anger. I'm no psychologist (but most psychologists seem to have psychological problems themselves anyway), but the thing to ask is, why do you think you attacked the door?

I've known many 'angry' people in aikido. In my opinion alot of anger stems from insecurity, fear, or a developed response (something thats worked in the past). Maybe your tension relieving episode falls into the last category.

In some buddhist circles karma is the effect that current actions will have on future actions i.e. if you kill someone today you are more likely to be able to do it in the future. Thus, to develop good karma you practise actions which you wish to continue doing in the future. Thus, you can be 'reincarnated' (change who you are) each time you change your learnt response.

However, I would say this would deal with feelings of insecurity or fear. Sometimes a feeling of powerlessness can do this - make sure you have control over what you want in your life, and understand that you are going to be dead one day and then all these things won't matter.

Hope this helps!

Ian

Sam
11-19-2002, 04:05 AM
Well, considering you admit it was fun, and not only did it, but went on to brag about it on the net, I'd say the problem is that you really don't think there is anything wrong with throwing a fit and breaking stuff. I don't see what Aikido can do about that. I'd say you could either grow up or embrace your inner brat, but either way, stop bullshitting yourself and everyone else. I for one am not buying it.
A little harsh?

To Patrik: I used to do things like this, but it went away after I started training. Maybe you would find a more competitive art like judo a suitable 'outlet' as you can loose you temper all the time and put it into randori, and eventually find that it is a waste of time and just plain tiring.

erikmenzel
11-19-2002, 04:08 AM
Hi!

The problem, according to my girlfriend, is that the door now has a hole from my fist in it.
You indicate that there is a problem according to your girlfriend. Maybe you can solve this by buying a new girlfriend instead of a new door.:D :rolleyes: :D

mike lee
11-19-2002, 04:08 AM
I've read somewhere that Aikido trainging helps you remain calm and not loosing your temper.

WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GET THAT IDEA??? :grr:

Just joking! :D

It's been my experience that when I have a rash of minor accidents and disputes that the reason is that my mind is not completely on what I'm doing. I've used such incidents as a form of negative reinforcement, meaning that if I stub my toe, I take it as a warning that I need to get my head fully back into what I'm doing IN THE MOMENT.

Recently, a friend of mine went to London to begin her course-work for an advanced degree. Although she's a very bright, optimistic person, the workload and pressure is quite high — especially given the fact that English is not her native language.

Several weeks into the semester, she sent me an e-mail and said she had accidentally cut her finger while preparing dinner. To me, the answer was obvious. She had so many different things on her mind that she had little attention left to watch what she was doing. I just told her, "Watch what you're doing and stay in the moment before something worse happens."

If aikido can help us at all in this regard, it's that when someone is about to hit us in the head with a bokken, we have little choice but to pay attention and get in the moment. The trick is to carry this lesson into the rest of our life.

:do:

Ta Kung
11-19-2002, 04:42 AM
First of all, let me clarify: I don't USUALLY do stuff like this. I'm not mental or anything. It happens once or twice a year, tops. And even if I do hit something, it usually doesn't break. I'm only asking for advice on what to do to calm down, when you get angry (we all get angry, don't we?), and if there is any connection to Aikido.
Well, considering you admit it was fun, and not only did it, but went on to brag about it on the net, I'd say the problem is that you really don't think there is anything wrong with throwing a fit and breaking stuff.

Well, it wasn't my intention to brag. But I did try to explain my situation in a fun way.

Either way, you don't seem to be the person I'd take advise from anyway, judging from the tone of your response... :rolleyes:

To Sam: I used to do Taekwon-do. :blush:

To Ian & Mike: Thank's for understanding my "problem" and giving good advice.

To Erik: LOL! I'm not THAT rich. :)

/Patrik

aiki_what
11-19-2002, 07:28 AM
The good thing about beating up objects is you "usually" win and you can always get the last word in.....

;)

DaveO
11-19-2002, 07:57 AM
I have a rather high-stress job, and my own personal intensity certainly doesn't reduce that stress level any. :)

I do a couple of things: First, my pre-class ritual: I like coming to the dojo about half an hour early; that way I can change, sweep the mat, set up the Kamiza etc. A bit of quiet time before folks arrive. Then, I spend about 10 minutes in sieza doing ki-breathing - works wonders. Then I spend the rest of the time before class getting the stress out in some serious ukemi. :)

Second, I try to act as uke for my Sensei, using mune-tsuki (sp?) A few punch/fly-through-the-air/land-on-my-back repetitions kind of knocks any remaining anger out of my system with the humour of the situation.

Kevin Wilbanks
11-19-2002, 09:44 AM
Well, it wasn't my intention to brag. But I did try to explain my situation in a fun way.

Either way, you don't seem to be the person I'd take advise from anyway, judging from the tone of your response... :rolleyes:
Your loss. What I gather from your explication of your 'problem' is that what you need is to buck up and take responsibility for yourself, not hugs and empathy. You are responsible for your own actions. Period. No matter how angry you get, hitting things involves a making decisions and acting on them. Portraying yourself as some kind of victim or in need of some special external solution - be it Aikido, or pop-psychology - seems childish to me. Hence the scolding tone.

As a physical laborer and sculptor, I haul off and hit things sometimes, when objects don't seem to be cooperating. More often I just laugh at the absurdity of the situation. How malevolent can a wobbly screw really be, anyway? Hell, I have even had occasion to grab a length of steel rod and beat an old piece of furniture or pallette to splinters (much safer and more satisfying than punching a heavy bag, in my experience). In any case, all these things were my doing, my choices, and my responsibility. If I thought any of this was a serious problem, I would look to myself to make different decisions, not for a rescue from without.

fullerfury
11-19-2002, 09:52 AM
I think it is pretty natural to get angry when under stress, especially men (in my experience women tend to react with tears and men tend to react with rage or anger), and in particular when you get injured...sharp pain has a way of really ruining a perfectly good moment.

I think the best way to handle it is to begin to recondition your natural response to sudden pain...like bumping your head into a door...stubbing your toe, etc... by first immediately recognizing the pain for what it is and how it is affecting you( causing anger ) and then trying to break the pattern by calming oneself...like using deep breathing, or whatever... If you actively attempt to recondition yourself, accepting that you are human and will have some relapses of fitful anger, but stay determined to change your behaviour...over a relatively short ( depends of course on how often you bang your head ) amount of time...you WILL recondition your natural response.

akiy
11-19-2002, 09:59 AM
Whenever people start talking about controlling anger and such, it reminds me of what George Simcox wrote on the subject back in early 1999. I'll include his thoughts below.

-- Jun

PS: I went ahead and made the following into an article in the Spiritual section:

http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/simcox4.html

--------------------

Eric Tilles wrote:

I am going to weigh in on the anti-emotion side of this discussion. To do Aikido, you need to be relaxed and be able to follow uke's attack. Any of the big time emotions (rage, anger, etc.) is going to un-relax you. You also have to be able to deal with the situation without any preconceptions: don't anticipate and don't guess; deal with what is. If you are emotional, at the very least you will have an unnecessary filter through which you are experiencing the situation. At the worst, you will have a preconceived notion of hoe to deal with uke. If you are angry, your anger may cause you to miss an attempt by uke to disengage. If you are sympathetic, you may forgo an appropriate "hard" technique and leave yourself open to attack. To me, it's better to leave the emotional baggage off the mat.

Mike and Joshua among others, have also made contributions to this theme which I feel are close but I would like to add the following thoughts.

One day I asked a student how he was doing. He replied, "Not so well, I still get angry". I responded that getting angry wasn't the problem - anger is a natural reaction - it is holding onto the anger that is the problem. Many folks not only get angry or experience fear but choose to hold onto that emotion to the detriment of effective response. Our training in relaxation and calmness should help us to shed the negative elements of these emotions and get on with business. I word it this way because this applies to daily living as well as MA. Some where there may be a state of perfection toward what every you see as the end point of life, but until then we learn what we can, train how we can and do the best we can at any particular time, and then review what we did, train to do better, and grow. We are a "work in process" until we die. Let us make the best of it, what ever our training approach..

George Simcox

mike lee
11-19-2002, 10:39 AM
The other day, I opened a door in my home, and accedently smashed my head with it (don't ask, I was looking the other way. Smooth, eh?) Anyway. I got pissed, and gave the door the beating of its life.

I approached this problem in a similar way that Chinese medicine seeks to treat the root cause of a disease rather than the symptom.

The accident triggered an angry response, but it seems to me that these are only the symptoms of the problem and not the root cause.

The root cause is simply not being fully aware in the moment. So what was really on your mind?

Realizing this, a lot of people like to do some self analysis, but sometimes root causes can not immediately be uncovered. From my experience, it's best not to be overly concerned about root causes at first, but rather, to simply take a deep breath, meditate and clear one's mind. This, at the very least, can help one to move ahead into the next moment without doing something regretable or enduring an even worse self-inflicted wound — such as mindlessly walking in front of a moving truck.

Root causes can be as simple as feeling guilty about not preparing enough for tomorrow's exam or as deep as long-forgotten family problems.

In any case, the skill of getting back into the moment as quickly as possible is an important survival technique for martial artists and non-martial artists alike.

It's also been my experience that the vast number of injuries that occur in the dojo are caused by people not being completely attentive to what they are doing.

Bruce Baker
11-19-2002, 11:14 AM
Anger Management?

The older you get ... the more you learn to manage to get angry!

Just kidding.

Many signs of good advice, but since you have recognized anger, and the rage, now you must find the ROOT CAUSE so that solutions can be found to either relieve it or at least understand where this anger is coming from

Mike Lee is correct, as is Jun's post about George Simcox ... problem is ... do you recognize the need to identify the specific triggers to your anger, and will you deal with them?

The easiest uke is one who is angry, just as it can also be a prelude to disasterous results, so finding a way to understand the anger, redirect it, so it may be released, is your next primary goal.

At the moment, you are probably still in the physical prime of life, with the strength of youth coursing through your body, and there will be emotional outbursts because you do not understand how to release anger that builds from some of life's normal stresses, but identifying these things, finding outlets for anger, and learning how to focus, so you don't hurt people, or doors, is up to you.

I commend you for asking others for help. I would not have done that ... at least not until I had broken a few more doors....

Ah, blind youth! It sure was fun to once be young.

Marty
11-19-2002, 01:58 PM
According to Koichi Tohei in his book “This is Aikido” (loosely paraphrased) one should at all times maintain focus on your hara. he goes on to say that you can not be angry if you are truly thinking about your center so If you get angry then this is only proof that you lost concentration.

To me Aikido is being the calm in the middle of the storm. So I practice with the idea of always remaining at peace and calm and I feel that this carries over in my life. Additionally, I find that if I just take a step back (literally and figuratively) and just think about what happened then I don’t ever really get mad. You know the whole count to ten thing. To me Aikido is about mindfulness and so it is about being aware that I am really mad and then realizing that the door was not to blame. At lest that is how I go about it.

Good luck with your training and with your temper

Marty

Deb Fisher
11-19-2002, 06:48 PM
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:

"Your loss. What I gather from your explication of your 'problem' is that what you need is to buck up and take responsibility for yourself, not hugs and empathy. You are responsible for your own actions. Period. No matter how angry you get, hitting things involves a making decisions and acting on them. Portraying yourself as some kind of victim or in need of some special external solution - be it Aikido, or pop-psychology - seems childish to me. Hence the scolding tone. "

I am mostly writing to second this. I have been struggling with my own temper (I've beaten up my things, put holes in doors, ruined my work, etc, too) for as long as I can remember. I never got anywhere when I was looking at myself as a victim - victim of circumstance, victim of genes or upbringing, victim of the people around me...

I was a victim of my own actions and nothing more. It's a very difficult but very liberating thing to realize.

Kevin Wilbanks
11-19-2002, 10:51 PM
Sing it sister!

Actually, I was just thinking some more about anger, about what it actually is. It seems to me that it has a lot to do with being attached to one's preconceptions or expectations, as opposed to accepting the way things are. For myself, I mostly get angry when I am making things. The very nature of making something is to transform something external into what you want it to be. I notice that when I am really in a work flow and everything is going according to my intentions, something suddenly breaking or getting ruined, or otherwise not behaving according to my expectations can cause me to go from rapt calm attentiveness to a violent shout or hitting something almost instantly. Since the nature of what I'm doing is imposing my vision on the materials, an interruption really disrupts me. In most of the rest of my life, I don't get angry. When things aren't as I want them to be, my response tends more towards disappointment, resignation, or constructive alteration of ideas and plans... except while driving, of course, where once again, the problem is that I believe the traffic laws are generally fair and I expect people to follow them.

Interesting that in children, the tantrum, acting out, breaking stuff, etc... is generally an attempt to draw the attention of more powerful, competent beings and coerce the adult(s) to rectify the situation for them, or punish for not doing so...

akiy
11-19-2002, 11:24 PM
One thing I've gotten from one of my teachers is that in order to consciously change something, I have to first become aware of what I want to change and then I have to accept it as a part of who/what I am. The acceptance part of it is usually a lot more difficult for me than the awareness part (although I do sometimes go through things without being aware)...

-- Jun

Ta Kung
11-20-2002, 03:28 AM
Actually Kevin, I do agree with what you've written.

But I think you are beeing a bit to fast in your judgement; I am not portraying myself as a victim (not intentionally anyway). I am merely using this event with the door to bring to life the question "Does Aikido teach you to control your temper".

Don't consentrate too much on my doorbreaking. It's not really the issue, at least I didn't want it to be. ;)

Regards,

Patrik

Robin Taylor
11-20-2002, 11:25 AM
One of my instructures always says "Being center is a choice."

SeiserL
11-20-2002, 11:31 AM
IMHO, when I don't take myself too seriously or too personally its very hard to get me angry.

Aikido has been good for my humility. Something about a 5' tall man throwing my 6'4" 220 lbs. around that's always good for a laugh.

I do beleive that the proper entering technique is to go through the empty space, not the solid part. That's reserved for those bashing arts.

Until again,

Lynn

warriorwoman
11-20-2002, 03:53 PM
`Dear Ta Kung (Patrik)

Aikido doesn't "teach" you to be calm and control your temper - it provides you with the opportunity to practice being calm and controlling your temper. Aikido provides one with the opportunity to learn many things. It's what you take and what you make of your training that enables you to grow beyond the person you were when you began. Since you made no mention of how your anger interferes with your training, I'd like to ask you if you find yourself losing your temper in class as well. Use those moments to explore what it was that angered you. Become a little more introspective and stop to analyze what it was that provoked the anger. Be honest with yourself and admit if the situation caused fear or insecurity in you. Only in that way will you be able to understand yourself and your responses to certain stimuli better. Don't feel like you've failed again when your temper gets the better of you if you are doing some honest soul-searching. Look at it as a process. The more you understand yourself, the better you'll be able to understand your responses to those situations that provoke your anger. You may want to look into anger management classes or therapy for some guidance as to how change your response to certain stimuli.

In any case, good luck to you on your path.

janet dtantirojanarat

www.warriorwoman.org