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aikido_fudoshin
05-04-2003, 11:12 AM
There are many people that post in this forum that have doubts about the martial effectiveness of Aikido. I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?

SeiserL
05-04-2003, 11:59 AM
IMHO, some measure of skepticism is healthy. Aikido is more difficult than it looks and takes longer to gain some level of proficiency. It is not Aikido that many doubt, its their own ability to make it work.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-04-2003, 12:29 PM
Additionally, there are factors other than martial effectiveness, as you may have heard. I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations. For instance, increasingly my natural response to people being aggressive is not to get angry at them, but to fit with them - as Leonard-sensei phrased it, seeing their point of view without abandoning my own - and trying to bring both of us back into a state of harmony with each other. Lofty words for a beginner who still lacks the peace of mind and grasp of harmony that sensei demonstrate, but I honestly believe that there have been many situations where, without aikido, I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship. I think that my slowly increasing ability to respond to physical attacks similarly is drawing upon much the same energy. Practically speaking, I think that a decent profeciency in aikido (after several years) allows one to respond to physically violent behavior with a pin or low throw, rather than pummelling the attacker until they hit the ground.

It all sounded very out there to me at first, but now I'm appreciating the fact that the 'martial' side of aikido and its spiritual/emotional side really do go hand in hand.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
05-04-2003, 12:35 PM
A quick additional word...'ukemi' also transfer very cleanly for me into the emotional realm. Often when I say something stupid (literally incorrect, or impolite, or whatnot), my first reaction is to try to 'cover it up' or compensate. Just as with a fall, I feel like there's no way I can just fall over and be alright. Ukemi have been a physical demonstration of the idea that you really can just roll with your mistake/imbalance and get back up, embracing the fall rather than fearing it. I apologize if this seems confusing; it's hard to phrase, but I've found it to be a very important part of why I appreciate aikido.

Greg Jennings
05-04-2003, 01:22 PM
Take care of your own aikido. Don't spend your precious time worrying about theirs.

Best Regards,

shihonage
05-04-2003, 03:10 PM
There are many posts by people who say that there are many posts by people who doubt Aikido.

...

Kensai
05-04-2003, 04:08 PM
I have always been of the belief that if you haven't earned something you'll never appreciate it.

So just taking what my Sensei says for granted is only going to produce a clone of that teacher. Aikido is about being true to yourself. I always question everything (respectfully pfcourse), so that would be being true to myself.

The martial aspects of the Budo arts that I study are not so important to me now as they were a few months ago. I guess a certain amount of Aikido has to be taken on faith.

Michael Neal
05-04-2003, 04:29 PM
Additionally, there are factors other than martial effectiveness, as you may have heard. I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations. For instance, increasingly my natural response to people being aggressive is not to get angry at them, but to fit with them - as Leonard-sensei phrased it, seeing their point of view without abandoning my own - and trying to bring both of us back into a state of harmony with each other. Lofty words for a beginner who still lacks the peace of mind and grasp of harmony that sensei demonstrate, but I honestly believe that there have been many situations where, without aikido, I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship. I think that my slowly increasing ability to respond to physical attacks similarly is drawing upon much the same energy. Practically speaking, I think that a decent profeciency in aikido (after several years) allows one to respond to physically violent behavior with a pin or low throw, rather than pummelling the attacker until they hit the ground.

It all sounded very out there to me at first, but now I'm appreciating the fact that the 'martial' side of aikido and its spiritual/emotional side really do go hand in hand.

I hope this helps answer your question.
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.

Thor's Hammer
05-04-2003, 05:35 PM
I don't see why there should be doubts about the martial effectiveness of aikido. None in my dojo anyhow... who here would honestly try to punch your sensei? People start to think that just because Aikido gives you the opportunity to go easy on someone means that it's not effective. You can dislocate shoulders, break wrists, snap spines, and choke people. Aikido is deadly. Just because we don't kill people in the dojo people think it's worthless. I bet you anything that the people who don't believe in Aikido's true effectiveness would be destroyed in a fight. This is because they have no faith in their training. I've heard a story of two aikido practicioners fighting from one end of a town to the other against hundreds of attackers, even if you take stories with a grain of salt, that's amazing. People also doubt aikido because of the way we attack in the dojo. Having seen both types of attacks, 'real', and 'practice', I can say that it's a lot easier to apply a technique to your average hook than it is to a well directed 'ski. Again, this may just be my dojo... at my dojo everything is done according to what is and isn't effective, and we are shown that at every step of the way, you can punch people to death while you hold them. We don't do this in practice. Aikido works, if what you're being taught doesn't, go to a better dojo.

shihonage
05-04-2003, 05:56 PM
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.
Could not have possibly been said better.

sanosuke
05-04-2003, 08:53 PM
I called it 'Seagal syndrome'. People are training aikido because they were fascinated by Seagal, you know the locks, breaking arms and other tricks. When they get into real aikido training they wonder why they have to learn to 'dance' in order to subdue the opponent, not breaking arms (Seagal doesn't 'dance' in his movies, right). facing this reality, they get skeptical about aikido and they start to wonder about aikido's effectiveness.

opherdonchin
05-04-2003, 10:38 PM
I think it is posts like this that make people doubt the effectiveness of Aikido.That's interesting. What about the post makes you doubt the effectiveness of Aikido, Michael? And I guess you, too, Aleskey? I wonder if it's the same thing for both of you.

shihonage
05-05-2003, 12:04 AM
That's interesting. What about the post makes you doubt the effectiveness of Aikido, Michael? And I guess you, too, Aleskey? I wonder if it's the same thing for both of you.
It's the avoidance of the question, and the length of the answer.

creinig
05-05-2003, 02:07 AM
It's the avoidance of the question, and the length of the answer.
I have to disagree. If we go back to the original post for a moment (emphasis added):
There are many people that post in this forum that have doubts about the martial effectiveness of Aikido. I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
IMHO Paul's (long) reply adressed that question nicely by saying that there are other reasons for training Aikido aside from becoming "martially effective" (or whatever you'd like to call it).

PS: I'm a non-doubter ;)

bob_stra
05-05-2003, 02:49 AM
I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
Because it enjoyable. And because I can see how it *could* work.

erikmenzel
05-05-2003, 04:18 AM
I was just wondering why these people train in Aikido?
Here are some suggestions:[list=1]

For fitness

For getting chicks

Because it is a hip thing to do

Because they dont care and like it anyway

Because they are also confused in the rest of their life

Because they need something to nag about

Because they have to from their spouse (and if they dont listen to their spouse they are getting their ass kicked at home, like me :D )

Because they confused aikido with ikebana or origami and are now affraid to admit their mistake

[/list=1]

Michael Neal
05-05-2003, 07:35 AM
Opher, I never said that it made me doubt the effectiveness of Aikido but if I had read that before starting Aikido I probably would have found another martial art to practice.
I personally have never yet 'had to use Aikido in a fight', but have on many occasions used it in emotional or verbal situations ... I would have come out of them having received and inflicted emotional injuries, and added akward distance to a relationship
I mean, if I wanted to work out these kinds of issues I would be practicing therapy, counseling, or perhaps some new age fad, not a martial art.

Sure there are dozens of different reasons people practice Aikido, but some just don't instill in others any confidence in the effectiveness of Aikido in martial situations.

ian
05-05-2003, 08:13 AM
I was going to post but Lynn always seems to say exactly what I want to.

Darn it

opherdonchin
05-05-2003, 09:43 AM
Sure there are dozens of different reasons people practice Aikido, but some just don't instill in others any confidence in the effectiveness of Aikido in martial situations.That makes a lot of sense, and it's an interesting point. Many of us feel that people who are training for reasons that are different than ours dilute Aikido and draw it away from what we see as its purpose. I know that I sometimes feel that the Aikidoka who focus very heavily on the martial aspects get in the way of their own potential to fulfil the art and also distract others. I can easily see how someone who had a different emphasis would see me in a similar light.

No solution, just a thought.

Michael Neal
05-05-2003, 10:14 AM
I think it would make more sense to post something like what Paul wrote in a spiritual discussion or something about verbal conflicts, it just was not in my opinion, an appropriate response to the question being asked.

Everyone has the right to train for whatever reason they want but when you post something about solving an emotional dispute in response to a question regarding martial effectiveness I think you are trying to infuse your "spiritual" agenda into the conversation.

As I have said in previous discussions I have nothing against the spiritual side of Aikido, I am more spiritual than you might think, but I think that for many people it gets in the way of real practical Aikido training.

I look at someone like Saotome Sensei, who posseses both spiritual awareness together with practical real Aikido and I think that he embodies the total picture. Without the martially effective technique Aikdo is empy and perhaps you can say the same about lacking any spiritual connection as well.

But I think if you lack spirtualism you can still defend yourself with Aikido where if you have spirituality yet lack practical technique you are really not doing martial arts and probably should find a more efficient and practical way to engage in spiritual practice.

shihonage
05-05-2003, 12:48 PM
But I think if you lack spirtualism you can still defend yourself with Aikido where if you have spirituality yet lack practical technique you are really not doing martial arts and probably should find a more efficient and practical way to engage in spiritual practice.
I think "spiritualism" is something that people shouldn't talk about at all.

Study the art, and if it makes you a better person, fine.

The moment you start bragging how it made you a better person, you sort of become a hypocrite.

If someone has the "spiritual" aspect to them, you can see that from the person.

You don't ask them "Hey man are you spiritual ?", you just either see it in their way of behavior or you don't - and it will always override whatever they say about themselves.

Also, I've noticed that degree of "enlightement" is not directly proportional to the goodness of a person's nature.

You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.

Conclusion: study the physical.

Peter Klein
05-05-2003, 12:48 PM
Reza Kauzur, thats exactly what I think and I have this syndrome right now. But I will at a later time of my training to do a lot of sparring with a friend of mine.

Michael Neal
05-05-2003, 12:57 PM
I think "spiritualism" is something that people shouldn't talk about at all.

Study the art, and if it makes you a better person, fine.

The moment you start bragging how it made you a better person, you sort of become a hypocrite.

If someone has the "spiritual" aspect to them, you can see that from the person.

You don't ask them "Hey man are you spiritual ?", you just either see it in their way of behavior or you don't - and it will always override whatever they say about themselves.

Also, I've noticed that degree of "enlightement" is not directly proportional to the goodness of a person's nature.

You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.

Conclusion: study the physical.
Very true, I agree.

Michael Neal
05-05-2003, 01:27 PM
well, I mostly agree.

Peter Klein
05-05-2003, 02:39 PM
aleksey this will be my motto if u dont mind: You can know all about God, Universe and Everything, and still be a fucking asshole.

opherdonchin
05-05-2003, 06:15 PM
I think "spiritualism" is something that people shouldn't talk about at all.Wow. That's pretty harsh.

I don't know much about God, the Universe and Everything and I'm certainly a fucking asshole, but I still find that my training in Aikido has been enriched by the discussions I've had with people about the spiritual, emotional, and daily practical relevance of Aikido to their daily lives.

In contrast, discussions of martial effectiveness have rarely done much for my Aikido. Places where my instructor has 'demonstrated' my openings have done a lot both for my martial effectiveness and for my Aikido, but usually no discussion was required.

Michael Neal
05-06-2003, 10:02 PM
I really have to modify what I said about agreeing with what Aleksey said. I agree with the general sentiments but I think he goes too far.

I think spirituality in Aikido is fine so long as:

1) It does not replace or hinder effective, practical technique and training.

2) It is kept on a personal level and not used to preach to other people practicing Aikido or used as a smokescreen to inject personal political ideology into the art.

opherdonchin
05-06-2003, 11:44 PM
I can agree with that. I'd even take it a step further and say that I try to take point 1 as a litmus test regarding spiritual notions of Aikido. That is, the spiritual lessons I learn should make my Aikido more effective and not less effective. If I find they are getting in the way of effectiveness, I figure I've misunderstood something.

I've rarely been troubled by point 2 (although I agree with you). I figure that all teachers still have something to learn. Some have something to learn about technique; some have something to learn about teaching; some have something to learn about making the connection to the more personal aspects of Aikido.

acot
05-07-2003, 09:21 AM
I think Aikido is extremely effective, and is an art you are more likely to use everyday then only in the unforeseen circumstance of an assult.

I teach english in Taiwan to all ages of students, and let me tell you that their is a plenty of fight in these kids. They kick,punch, slap, and cry.

Of course I cannot hurt children, and damage is out of the question. Aikido has come in handy for a senior student in our dojo who was attack by 4 robbers at a 7-11 with knives.

I think the question is can these say result occur in other martial arts. Yes, and likely depending on your personality others may be more suitable. For me Aikido is great, because I love the atmosphere that everyone is there to train in a joyful happy manner. The work day has enough preasure without having it come from the dojo.

Have fun

Ryan

ian
05-07-2003, 11:40 AM
I think it all depends on objectives - just because you're a f**king as*hole doesn't mean that you aren't progressing on the road to enlightenment (you may have been an absolute c**k sucking as*hole previously).

I'd agree with above posts and think senseis should really make it clear what they are aiming to teach with their aikido so that students aren't misled.

Personally I believe that real spiritual knowledge is derived from real world experience and chatting about it can only to direct you towards any truths (finger pointing at moon type of stuff). On that note I'll shut up.

SeiserL
05-08-2003, 08:54 AM
I was going to post but Lynn always seems to say exactly what I want to. Darn it
When you snooze, you lose. Nice to know there are kindred spirits out there. Thank you.