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John Boswell
05-05-2004, 01:34 PM
Is it just me, or is there a tremendous amount of contradiction in Aikido?

If you look over the last several pages on this (and other) forums, you will find discussion of :
Politics in Aikido
Street effectivness
Aiki-fruities
Emotions on the mat
etc.

Now, I'm as guilty of being "human" as the next person, but I try to stop and reflect on aikido as being a :do: or "Way" and the harmony that O'Sensei tried to create through his martial art. And yet, all around me I see examples within the world of aikido that contradict the very essence of this Way.

Again, I'm not trying to pass judgement, but more just make an observation and bring it to attention for all to consider. Why should we place more emphasis on one style over another? or judge those other styles? Why should we point fingers at the mannerisms and quirks of other people and their approach to aikido? Why... if we are indeed on the path toward harmony, do we let our emotions get the best of us when we're in the day-to-day struggle for control of them?

I'm sure this has all been mentioned before and will more than likely come up again. Hell, I'm sure I've already touched on this subject about a year or so ago... but it's with good reason: Aikido revolves around the concepts of peace and harmony. These are good ideas to focus and contemplate On and Off the mat.

Just a thought...

Domo arigato

PS: I'm not some hippie out in the world crying "Can't we all just get along?" Rather, I'm an average person trying to make sense of the illogic that I see... in the hope that others might stop to think about things before adding to the already growing mess that is human nature.

DarkShodan
05-05-2004, 01:48 PM
Amen brother!

Jerry Miller
05-05-2004, 01:51 PM
Thank you john.

AsimHanif
05-05-2004, 02:00 PM
Good question John.
Lately my mantra has been "aikido is for correcting yourself". It's really helping me to control those other aspects of my practice. Ironically this is the same principle that I learned very early in my karate training. And somehow I always come back to it in everything I do.
One thing this site reinforces big time is that everyone has an opinion. And every one of those opinions are right because we are all coming from a different place. So this site has taught me (quickly) to not be so quick to offer an opinion but to listen more. Often times our judgements are really guised as opinions. You can tell this easily be the emotional outbursts attached to some opinions posted here.
Bottom line is we all have a hard time of putting down our baggage.

aikidoc
05-05-2004, 02:02 PM
Humanity. Ego.

Bronson
05-05-2004, 02:13 PM
Lately my mantra has been "aikido is for correcting yourself".

Something I noticed in myself that I've been working on is that I had a difficult time disagreeing without disapproving.

Bronson

PeaceHeather
05-05-2004, 02:28 PM
Well, as the creator of the "emotions" thread, I didn't see a contradiction between that and aikido... at least, not according to my admittedly limited understanding of the art.

Perhaps the best way to explain it is... a lot of aikido is about learning to trust your partners, to get away from seeing them as a threat (I use the word "threat" in the competitive sense as well as in the "baggage" sense :) ). We're so used to looking for a power struggle or an imbalance in our work relationships, in personal relationships, in sports where there has to be a winner and a loser, that it can really throw us for a loop when we come onto the mat and discover that the only person out to get us is ourselves.

On top of that, speaking as a woman, I've been conditioned not to be confrontational, not to be physical, not to fight. All you football players might be used to smacking each other on the butt and punching each other as a form of greeting :cool: but for me to get up and face a partner who is going to throw me is a scary thing. Learning to put a wrist lock on someone, knowing that if done right I can cause them pain and if done wrong I can break them, is likewise a scary thing. It's not "nice"!

Aikido, to me, is a safe environment to face and overcome that fear. But it does mean that, often for me, I do have an emotional response out on the mat, often triggered by pretty innocuous things.

Anyway, I'm not so sure that this is a contradiction. Or, if you prefer, it is a contradiction of aikido, but then so is the kind of fall that lands you on your face and hurts you, as opposed to the proper ukemi that you need to be *trained and taught* to perform. I'm training myself in physical *and* emotional responses to a given situation.

*shrug* Do you see what I'm getting at?
Heather

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2004, 03:31 PM
Yes, I do. When I first started aikido it was hard (emotionally) for me to get thrown. In competitive wrestling, you fight against being thrown, while trying to throw the other guy. In aikido I felt like every ukemi was a loss at first (and I'm just coming to understand why it was so hard then, now). Now I love ukemi...almost as much as winging my partner across the room :)

Ron

AsimHanif
05-05-2004, 03:37 PM
Heather,
I was strictly speaking from my own experiences but I'm pretty sure we have all had similar experiences on or off the mat. The emotional responses you encountered within yourself is nothing new and anyone who says they haven't experienced that same thing I would think is not be honest or hasn't been training long enough. Athough you may view your responses as a product of femalien :-) norturing I don't it is foreign to males. We cover up our fears by trying to be more physical. Being calm under pressure is a very hard skill to acquire, especially if you are not working in an environment where you feel comfortable.

Gabriel A
05-05-2004, 03:56 PM
Could it be that we apply the training and not the mentality? I mean we do the forms physically but not mentally...
Regards
Gabriel

SeiserL
05-05-2004, 04:14 PM
Nice thoughts. Compliments and appreciation.

IMHO, contradictions are just different sides of the same coin. Usually its all about being right and others wrong. Of course they think the same about me.

BTW, I'm not a hippie either. Hippies were nonviolent.

John Boswell
05-05-2004, 04:40 PM
Lynn,

You're a black belt. To me, you would be Mister Hippie. :D


JUST KIDDING! :p Sensei Hippie? :confused:

All joking aside, nothing was directed at the author of the Emotions thread, but mearly the fact that emotions sometimes get skewed during practice or off the mat... which is funny for followers of the Way of Harmony / Peace / etc.

ANYWAYS... excellent comments so far. Thank you everyone for chiming in here. I didn't know if it would be ignored or read or what-not. I'm enjoying the responses. Please... continue! :)

Jeanne Shepard
05-05-2004, 07:41 PM
I don't have a problem with polite disagreement. If you've got a bunch of people just saying, "How True!" and I quite agree!" that makes for a boring thread.

Jeanne :p

PeaceHeather
05-05-2004, 08:42 PM
Athough you may view your responses as a product of femalien :-) norturing I don't it is foreign to males. We cover up our fears by trying to be more physical. Being calm under pressure is a very hard skill to acquire, especially if you are not working in an environment where you feel comfortable.

1. "Femalien." *snrrk* :D Sorry, that's just really funny. I'm going to have to start calling my husband "malien" when he gets weird.

2. Right then, moving on. I don't suggest that men are never afraid; just that our culture has mostly conditioned men to be physical and women not to be. It has also conditioned women to express emotions and men to suppress theirs.

My only reason to respond in this thread was because one example given of "contradiction" was the "emotions on the mat" thread. I'm not completely sure that those emotions are a contradiction in aikido, that's all. *shrug*

Heather

PeaceHeather
05-05-2004, 08:46 PM
All joking aside, nothing was directed at the author of the Emotions thread, but mearly the fact that emotions sometimes get skewed during practice or off the mat... which is funny for followers of the Way of Harmony / Peace / etc.


Oh, I didn't take it that way, or anything; it just caught my attention and made me think. And you do have a point... if we're all supposed to be so serene and calm, then why do so many of us talk about the ways in which aikido freaks us out?!?! Ya know? :freaky:

Well, now I'm curious. You asked a question without having a prepared answer to share with us? Don't tell me you don't have an opinion!

:cool:
Heather

PeaceHeather
05-05-2004, 08:47 PM
I don't have a problem with polite disagreement. If you've got a bunch of people just saying, "How True!" and I quite agree!" that makes for a boring thread.



You're absolutely right.
Heather

Largo
05-06-2004, 12:35 AM
The contradictions stem from the fact the the same words mean different things to different people. To one person, peacfully harmonzing with an attack means to flow into it and then start snapping joints. To others, it is to deflect it away. Who's right? I don't know. I guess we have to decide what we want to be for ourselves.

aikidocapecod
05-06-2004, 01:47 PM
Reminds me of 4th grade music class when we all learned what 3-part harmony is.
It is 3 people singing the same thing, but differently!!!!

So, Aikido is much the same. We are all doing essentially the same thing. "Some" better than "others"(I am in the "others" category and not the "some" group!!). But, many have said the same thing here......we are human...we, for better or worse, are all given an ego when born. So, when one person says Type A aikido is better than Type B aikido, the first reaction from the Type B aikidoka is...
"Hey, what I am practicing is being bad-mouthed."
And we all never want to think what we are doing is of a lesser quality than what some body else is doing. So our first reaction is just that, a reaction. Rather than taking the statement for what it is.

To the person who says...."Type A aikido is better than Type B aikido.....what I take that to mean is that for the person making the statement.......she/he has tried both styles and she/he decided that Type A aikido was better for her/his long term goals.


Am I an optimist or what?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!