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actoman
12-08-2003, 05:58 AM
Been Gone a while, good to be back.

Question on the thought process that comes with Aikido training, at least for me. I am much calmer under stress and seem to 'blend' more with people's statements, rather than interfereing with them, no matter how outrageous they may be.

Now it seems to me, at least from some standpoint, that since I offer very little resistance to statements, that it makes me a 'pushover' or easy win. Am I wrong, or just misled?

Michael Karmon
12-08-2003, 06:26 AM
Been Gone a while, good to be back.

... since I offer very little resistance to statements, that it makes me a 'pushover' or easy win. Am I wrong, or just misled?
I think you know the answere allready. Soft isn't floppy and nice isn't a wimp. The only question you should ask yoursef is the bottom-line, Were my interest served or not.

If for the sake of 'blending' you gave up something you needed then your real-life-Aikido is not good. If you managed to get your way and maintain the peace, it is good Aikido.

Tim Griffiths
12-08-2003, 06:44 AM
...I am much calmer under stress and seem to 'blend' more with people's statements, rather than interfereing with them, no matter how outrageous they may be....
That's not "Giving In to Get You Way", that's just "Giving In" (a much shorter book that didn't sell so well).

Being laid back doesn't mean being a pushover, it just means not sweating the easy stuff. Aikido is all about doing the 'correct' thing, but achieving it with as little conflict (and broken wrists) as possible.

Tim

vanstretch
12-08-2003, 07:10 AM
this makes me consider some real great "blending " conversations that i have used to influence people on the street as an officer. we use commo tactics known as "verbal judo", lots of cops will rib one another to test their mettle and especially new rookies take alot of verbal abuse from their comrades. the reason for this is two-fold; to see if they can take it,and to gauge their response; and this shows the vets that if the rookie can't take it from his teammates then how could he/she take it from an irate motorist? i strive personally to get to the Tony Robbins level of communication and always take pride when i catch myself about to slip up but correct myself. i am not the type to have quick witty comebacks as some are blessed with, although i have learned to pause more and talk slower when under stress and that helps manage the situation better.

Nick Simpson
12-08-2003, 05:39 PM
Too many people think that someone being nice or accomodating to them is a sign of weakness, those people are always fighting someone, let them think what they want ;)

Jucas
12-08-2003, 09:54 PM
Nick brings up a good point. Accomodation, patience, tolorence, these are often looked on as a sign of weakness, I my mind there is nothing weak about those traits, exactly the opposite, they are signs of strength. That being said, there is a big difference in actively going out to meet and accept the challenges you face and waiting for the challanges to come to you and steam roll you into the ground.

-j

Jeanne Shepard
12-08-2003, 10:13 PM
A revolving door isn't weak, but it gives.

Jeanne

ian
12-09-2003, 11:30 AM
You also have to realise that agreeing with someone is not the best way to solve an argument. Ueshiba said sincerity was the most important quality in aikido. I think there must be a differentation between winning an argument and truth.

Sometimes you have to concede because the other person is only interested in winning. Sometimes you concede because you know you are wrong. The problem many people have is beligerance and large egos.

Ian

thisisnotreal
12-09-2003, 11:42 AM
i always remember this bit of fractured wisdom:

After a big storm the only things left standing are the reeds that bend with the wind. All the big trees have broken.

JasonB
12-09-2003, 11:51 AM
I think that the idea of "not offering resistance" is like performing half of an Aikido technique.

I think of it like this: When I walk down the street, the road beneath me offers resistance. It is firm in it's intent to resist my foot from passing through it. I cannot overcome this resistance and so to be in harmony with the intent of the road I walk across the top of it. If I attempt to bring myself out of harmony with the road by stepping through it I will hurt my foot.

In contrast, the wind that blows against me as I walk (usually) flows around me. It cannot resist me and my intent to move through it. The wind does not conflict with me but it is left out of harmony with it's original intent by my passing.

In Aikido the goal is to bring an individual into harmony with me. If I and another person are both walking down the road in different directions and pass by each other without incidence then we are in harmony. If the individual walks directly into me then I would like to end in a state where it is as if we had passed each other without incidence. This is most commonly done by both individuals redirecting their balance around the other and is usually followed by a quiet apology. If this same individual approaches me with energy and the intent to do me harm, then I wish to end up in a state where I am unaffected, as if he walked right on by, but the energy of his intent is directed back into himself. To attack a harmonious individual is to attack yourself. Woe be to him for being out of harmony with me in such a powerful way.

In Aikido technique I first attempt to blend with my opponent like wind and then I become firm in my intent to redirect him. I direct him as if I were solid like the road. The road dictates how I will travel across it so I will become a very twisty road for my opponent. I redirect him into harmony with myself by directing the force of his attack.

If I am merely offering no resistance to my opponent it is as if I succesfully blended with him but I failed to redirect him back into harmony with myself. I have not completed the technique. The question now is how much do I allow myself to be affected by this person's energy? Is it right to be like the road all of the time? Do I want to be solid and unaffected by the people around me? Should I always resist the intent of others? Should I be like the wind and always be reshaped by the intent of others? To what degree should I be one or the other in any given situation? Maybe being a harmonious person means being only as rigid or as passive as the obstacle you encounter. Does Aikido teach us that to do this we need to be both rigid and passive at differant times during an encounter rather than being somewhere in between throughout? Is it time for me to stop thinking about this and get back to work?

That wasn't meant to sound like I think I'm "harmonious" or something.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
12-09-2003, 08:34 PM
Aikido isn't clashing, but it isn't doing nothing either. It's not good aikido to stand there and let uke hit you in the stomach. You'll 'blend' with it, but it's not harmony. ^_-

In fact, I'd consider the 'conversational' (or whatever the right word is) equivalent of just standing there to either being passive aggressive or just getting needlessly hurt. If you don't respect yourself, you probably don't respect others as well, as you let yourself get worked up and (presumably) also lack the self-control to really treat others in a respectful manner.

"Unbendable arm" is a good illustration too, I think. As Michael Karmon noted above, 'soft isn't floppy'. There's a difference between 'empty' (floppy arm) and 'relaxed' (unbendable arm), as much as there is between 'relaxed' and 'tense'.

George Leonard-sensei once remarked that blending is seeing another point of view without sacrificing your own.

That being said, I sometimes myself think I'm 'too nice', and tend to give in when I'm really only doing so out of what boils down to laziness. It's easier to just stand there and get hit, or shoved around, but it's no more aikido than getting into an argument is. Sometimes harmony is quite 'harsh'; Yoshokai and (I think?) Yoshinkai folks know what I mean when I cite mune-tsuki irimizuki as an example.

AsimHanif
12-10-2003, 02:15 PM
A couple of things come to mind Andy..

Think of tenkan as "turn them around" and "yes we have no bananas".

Michael Karmon
12-11-2003, 01:01 AM
...It's not good aikido to stand there and let uke hit you in the stomach. You'll 'blend' with it...
it is, "I'll blend out your supper" technique :D

ian
12-11-2003, 05:04 AM
George Leonard-sensei once remarked that blending is seeing another point of view without sacrificing your own.

...

It's easier to just stand there and get hit, or shoved around, but it's no more aikido than getting into an argument is.
Yep - I'd agree. To me it is about realising 'truth' (what is really important) and to get out of the minor petty concerns.

e.g. when someone attacks, we could act tough and watch them bounce off us, or try and force a technique on them (thus helping our ego) or we could protect ourselves (our real objective) and just step out the way.

The same in conversation - if someone is completely dogmatic argument is useless. However if something can be gained from the discussion, it is worth being truthful and communicating a point of view (for both parties). Aikido is about this yin/yang relationship.

Ian

Marty
12-11-2003, 02:40 PM
Atami is aikido too,

I have seen on these very posts many times when people talk about how amazing a center one sensei or another has, and how great there aikido is. I think that these things are directly related. If you give up your center then how can you blend?

It's kind of like a pillow that is too soft your head collapses it completely and it's not so soft anymore... instead it is better to have a pillow that has give to a point and then stops.

In my style of aikido we talk about ko kyu (sp?) or breath, all of our arts have a give and a take an element of softness and hardness. Like was said before if you don't have both, I can't see how you can truly blend.

just a thought

:ai:

Marty