View Full Version : aikido driving

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11-20-2003, 07:53 PM
if you want to call it that, i have felt a change lately while driving; using mai-ai more and more. living in atlanta i seem to notice more and more idiots doing the classically stupid move of tail-gaiting. as an officer i have worked countless accidents due to tail-gaiting. most people don't give it a second thought to be bumper to bumper during their self-important commute. my thought is that if you cannot see the rear tires of the car in front of you-you are way too close. the sheep mentality is to get tighter and tighter bunched with traffic,feeling that this will speed things up, but due to driver response time,if drivers have anything pre-occupying their primary task of driving(of course this never happens)things get slower and difficult and enables accidents to occur very easily. i always keep space as explained above while in my personal car. and i have noticed that a slight head tilt and a little wave can and does calm an aggressive driver behind me. ps-there are countless other factors that may affect the aggressive attitude(music selection,mental state, too much coffee etc...) anyway, i rant sorry, but the aikido in traffic for me is endless in observation,internalization, reflection and action/reaction. our wondrous art has endless uses and i just wanted to share my rant perspective on this. please add your thoughts all. take care daniel.

11-20-2003, 09:31 PM
I haven´t been involved in any traffic incident since 1997, the year I started aikido... :) How bad is Mexico City´s traffic? F1 ace Alain Prost refused to drive on our streets on the grounds that we drive like crazy (sissy!) but he had a point. I drive very relaxed, aware and in harmony with my fellow motorists, specially taxi and truck drivers! I take proper ukemi by letting others in a hurry pass me, I never cut in someone´s lane, and I keep proper maai, that means no tailgaiting. And some say aikido has no practical application...

11-21-2003, 01:55 AM
My wife says I have started driving like a wuss lately (indicating, observing speed limits, consideration, keeping proper distance etc). I told her I was merely adjusting my distance and speed for safety and politiness reasons.

To me, she now seems to drive like a crack addict in a monster truck. It may be my imagination but I swear she is constantly trying to touch the rear bumper of any car in front of us before over-taking...or even worse not over-taking. My nerves are shattered being in the car with her. I am constantly terrified.

11-21-2003, 03:55 AM
Hey i read your post with interest, its nice to see you taking you aikido out of the dojo with you..........

However it does worry me slightly that all that good is being attributed to the study of aikido. For example have you ever driven in the UK? tail-gaiting as you call it is practically unheard of here.......maybe its just becuase its sensible.

I don't argue that aikido is a budo, however its also a fighting style and a very effective one at that.

Could we please see a little more relevance attatched to our discipline?

Just a little niggle i have...


11-21-2003, 04:59 AM
I too use aikido when driving. I use the motion of the car in front of me when overtaking and entering without a thought (irimi), even if this means overtaking on the wrong side... :blush:

11-21-2003, 07:45 AM
Have to agree, the principles apply to almost all situations. Compliments and appreciation.

11-21-2003, 08:20 AM
Aikido in daily life...

Jeff Tibbetts
11-21-2003, 01:20 PM
I think there's also a value in knowing what other drivers are doing. A little empathy will make it easier to tell who's going to cut you off, who's speeding, etc. This isn't really an Aikido thing, entirely, though. I think that one of the ways that I began to understand some of the principles of Aikido was when my instructor was trying to get us to sense change in the uke. He mentioned that most of us can detect the slightest changes in another driver on the freeway, and predict what they will do. We have to teach ourselves to do this on the mat as well, when we're new. So it goes both ways: Aikido has made me a more aware driver and driving has opened up a window to understand sensing and timing in interpersonal relationships. Weird.

11-21-2003, 01:33 PM
Jakarta is good for practicing all of those that have been said above.

Everytime you go out on the street, it's like a battle for survival. :p

11-21-2003, 03:34 PM
yes, driving can evolve into a finesse art if you will. i guess anything practiced over time will smooth out and simplify if you let it. i like to compare my training to situations off the mat,or in a more realistic setting, absolutely. most americans who live or drive near major cities know how crazy traffic can be. i just want to blend with the assholes out there more and damn .... there are alot of em.

11-21-2003, 09:43 PM
Jakarta is good for practicing all of those that have been said above.

Everytime you go out on the street, it's like a battle for survival. :p
very very agree, in fact i think the hardest and most demanding 'aikido in daily life' training is how to control our emotion during heavy traffic jam, where everybody seems to attack you from all directions, almost every day.:p