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Paula Lydon
10-15-2003, 09:14 AM
~~Hi All!

As your skill level (power) increases as you train over the years, are you consciously aware of an inner increase of resposibility to others? Not just on the dojo level, but on a spiritual/universal level?

I feel this mostly toward uke, the person who has agreed--on whatever level, in whatever venue--to join with me in this moment. It began on the mat but now I see everyone I come into contact with during the day as uke, or I am theirs. A mutuality. To be sensitive to, blend with, be softly strong when needed, to care for.

And you? :circle:

Qatana
10-15-2003, 09:35 AM
Hopefully this is where i'm going...

John Boswell
10-15-2003, 09:51 AM
I think its important to make yourself aware whether you are or not. I've been in Aikido for over a year, and using my center is becoming more and more easy. Sometimes I'll forget how easy and will practically toss someone to the other side of the room without trying... so, ya. I do make an effort to concentrate on what I'm doing so as not to trash the other individual.

happysod
10-15-2003, 11:28 AM
in dojo - yep, more skill = more responsibility.

outside dojo - nope. I fail to see how you're relating your increase in aikido skills to the world outside the artificial environment of the dojo (other than re a potential combat situation).

On the other hand, if you mean your increasing skill at aikido and interest in it's philosophy has made you more confident/aware etc. and so you're approaching things differently - different story. However, I'd put this as a beneficial side-effect of aikido for *you* rather than aikido itself (see loads of threads on "this high-level shihan's a complete b******d" for expansion of my point of view)

John, not decrying your ability, but I'd be immensely impressed if a year has given you sufficient skill to enjoy that sort of confidence. I've seen a few many-year ma people come a cropper with this attitude.

ian
10-15-2003, 11:47 AM
In the dojo - no.

I always had the same respect for my partner. If anything I'm a tiny bit more aggressive as an uke (but not 'resistant') to ensure that nage can get a 'feel' of how frightening attacks can be.

Outide dojo - yes.

Not sure whether this is a philosophical development through aikido (I consider that people should get the opportunity to regret their violent adolescence.) Also I think right and wrong are societal constructs (or at least relative) and therefore I don't feel the anger or aggression towards people outside that comes with condemnation; even those who have been aggressive towards me. (well not to any extent anyway - I still get pi**ed off with people sometimes).

I'm not sure PRACTICALLY whether this is true. I'm far more aware of how to kill or disable someone, though I don't practise this so hopefully my response would be very aiki - but it's been a while since I've had a confrontation, and I don't know what my subconcious would tell me to do.

I believe that the philosophical aspect does have a real self-defence benefit - from not seeing agressive situations as purely confrontational and instead being able to find a joint solution or at least an understanding, I think I've avoided many fights (though I'd say some people are out to get you regardless).

Ian

John Boswell
10-15-2003, 02:48 PM
Ian Hurst,



I wasn't trying to brag at all. Seriously.

The other night I was helping someone with a basic technique (Katatekosatori Kotegaeshi - Cross-hand wrist grab/ ”Wrist-turning” throw, pin)

but during his tenkan/tenkai... he wasn't keeping his hand in front of his center. He was leaving his hand behind him and muscling the whole thing.

So... we stopped and I backed him up to just practicing the Tenkan first, then Tenkai. At the start of this, I had him grasp my wrist (same side) and I moved tenkan around to his side. Next, I pivoted tenkai... and by keeping my hand just so and using my center... it was all he could do to not fall down or hit the wall that I was now facing.

I'm not bragging about my ability... but more the ability of Aikido.

PhilJ
10-15-2003, 10:39 PM
I've always taken aikido and used it to train my character and soul as well as my body and actions.

I do feel an increased responsibility both in and out of class, because I believe "I have certain training, so I should know better".

Case in point: I was rear-ended by a man in a right-turn-only lane last winter. I started to go, then stopped because I saw a car zipping down my direction. He wasn't paying attention and hit me.

Yes, the law said it was 100% his fault. Secretly, though, I believe it was mostly mine, because I have the training where I could have possibly fully controlled that situation.

I don't hold others in dojos to that standard, but I know better about myself: I could have easily prevented that accident from happening. No lost sleep, but a good lesson in controlling a situation.

*Phil

JJF
10-16-2003, 04:40 AM
I have the impression that I lately have become more and more aware of my own shortcommings. I really want to take good care of other people both in and out of the dojo. Preventing conflict. It's just so damn hard. However maybe - with time and practice - I will get better at it. At least I am able to see some of the situations where i fail. With time that might enable me to be do a preemptive defusing of potential conflicts instead of just realising they have allready appeared... :D

happysod
10-16-2003, 04:45 AM
John, I actually wasn't thinking that you were bragging, just worried about overconfidence leading you to be too pleasant when you needed be more forthright. Apologies for the inadvertent insult.

Ian, interested by your "no" response to the in the dojo part, going off some of your posts I can't believe you didn't go through a meathead phase in the dojo (later tempered by calm sensei-style restraint of course :D )

Paula Lydon
10-16-2003, 08:56 AM
~~I agree, Jorgen; there's a growing awareness where you can almost sense precognitivly what's about to occur, instead of simply tumbling along in the wake like everyone else. And in that moment is the opportunity for choice. I think it's this understanding that I have freedom of choice in the moment that increases my sense of responsibility to others, who may not feel free of programmed responses.

~~Still working with all of this, of course :)

jxa127
10-16-2003, 10:12 AM
As your skill level (power) increases as you train over the years, are you consciously aware of an inner increase of resposibility to others? Not just on the dojo level, but on a spiritual/universal level?
Hi Paula,

For me, things happened in the other direction in that I sought out a martial art that seemed to match my personal philosophy/moral code. Since then, of course, aikido has altered my perceptions and become a far more integral part of my life than I expected. :D

I like your idea of approaching people as though they are your uke and/or you are theirs.

Regards,

-Drew

aikidoc
10-16-2003, 11:37 AM
Ahhh. Good old zanshin. This is often touted as awarenss of the outside environment but internal awareness and awareness of the dynamics of the situation are also extremely important. I think John was trying to make the point that as his use of center improves his awareness of the power he can generate takes on a new level. John is a very tall and strongly built guy. That combination requires some sensitivity to the power he can generate with us shorter stature aikidoka-at least to keep us out of the woodwork.

Kevin Leavitt
10-18-2003, 04:45 AM
I think anything inside the dojo or outside that increases your awareness on the interdependence of you to others is a good thing.

Aikido, while by some is labeled "artificial" is a good tool for excercising these principles. I don't really see how it could not carry over into other aspects of your life, even if in a small way.

For me, it is very difficult to constantly stay "within the zone" and practice what I preach. To be quite honest sometimes it is even more difficult to do this in the dojo.

The dojo environment can serve as a amplifier. It can either bring out the good, or the bad in people. I think we have all had to face an uke that we just didn't like for one reason or another and have had ill feelings toward that person.

No matter how hard you try, you just can't supress your ego to deal with him/her, so we avoid them, or just practice "going through the motions".

I think too often we only see, or want to see the good side of ourselves and the positive aspects that occur in the dojo. There are negative ones to...and those are the ones that I believe we should face and try and master too!

Col.Clink
10-18-2003, 08:27 AM
I think too often we only see, or want to see the good side of ourselves and the positive aspects that occur in the dojo. There are negative ones to...and those are the ones that I believe we should face and try and master too!
Totally agree Kevin!

Paula:

I've found the more I study Aikido, physically and philosophically, inside & out of the dojo, I definately have become more responsible in everything I do. Then I make a stuff up (dojo or not), and realise I haven't actually come very far at all, :eek:

but it's a work in progress!;)

Cheers

Rob

Paula Lydon
10-18-2003, 09:12 AM
~~Totally a work in progress, and it's amazing how often I fall (not very graceful ukemi, either!). Reminds me to use the equation in regards myself, as well :)

Anders Bjonback
10-31-2003, 06:48 PM
~~Hi All!

As your skill level (power) increases as you train over the years, are you consciously aware of an inner increase of resposibility to others? Not just on the dojo level, but on a spiritual/universal level?

I feel this mostly toward uke, the person who has agreed--on whatever level, in whatever venue--to join with me in this moment. It began on the mat but now I see everyone I come into contact with during the day as uke, or I am theirs. A mutuality. To be sensitive to, blend with, be softly strong when needed, to care for.

And you? :circle:
I sure hope my training leads me in that direction. While I know that aikido's changing my life and my outlook on things, I don't really know in what way. It seems to be more implicit than explicit.

Training in Brazilian Jui Jitsu, I felt like it was making me into a worse person. I was training myself to give into my agressive impulses rather than to be responsible with or re-channel them. It really affected me in a negative way.

Now that I've given up that martial art, and am training in aikido, I don't know how aikido's affecting me. It's different from meditation and loving-kindness practice, but it's also different from the other martial practices I have done. In any case, the short answer is, I don't know, but I hope my training leads me in the direction you're describing.

Kensho Furuya
11-02-2003, 10:45 AM
I hear many yonger generation students answering here and I think "changes" implicit or explicit are noticable right from the very beginning when you enter into Aikido training. This is always a good, positive sign. As you get on in years and get into the higher Dan levels, become a teacher, develop an organization, numbers of students, branches, etc., you also acquire "political" power as well as skill and reputation, etc. I think it is at this point that your original question becomes extremely important not only to the person's own welfare and practice but for all those around him and for those he is responsible for as his students. I would be very interested to hear from other veterans or high ranking instructors regarding this. Or, at the very least, give this more serious thought. . . . .

Paula Lydon
11-02-2003, 12:41 PM
~~Thank you Kensho-san, and all other voices of experience who have shared their thoughts here. Perhaps this thread would be a good dual line of thought added to the Voices of Experience site. Some things you can only see across the distance of an advanced life. Like a junior student and an advanced, the burst of Spring or the long Autumn; both lovely but Autumn is more quiet, subdued. I'll run it by Jun:)