View Full Version : Self Image During Training

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05-31-2004, 08:53 PM
All this talk about personal warrior code got me to thinking along slightly more general lines.

What self image do you have during training.

Do you see yourself as Stupendous Man (ala Calvin and Hobbes) or the recipient of Takuan's teachings in the Unfettered Mind (specifically The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom). Is it hard ass-ed warrior training or just someone who likes training the Aikido techniques. Street fighter or purveyor of peace and harmony.

Now I realize that it might be a combination of several and not necessarily one of the above - but if you had to say in ten words or less what it was - could you?

I like training in Aikido techniques.

PS I am referring to the state of mind during the actual training.

05-31-2004, 09:00 PM
Humble. And always intrigued and asking questions to myself

05-31-2004, 09:49 PM
No mind.

or at least working toward it
while at the same time I just like
doing aikido technique.

05-31-2004, 09:52 PM
Mostly like this....


05-31-2004, 10:02 PM
Hi Craig;

I like No mind also - the core of Tomiki Aikido is afterall Mushin Mugamae but for me during training, watching the instructor, trying to improve the technique, trying to help my kohai improve theirs, No Mind just can not describe my state of mind during training. It is however an ideal.

Jordan Steele
05-31-2004, 11:09 PM
I try to have the image of a solid line through my body and a ball of electricity outlining my body waiting to be projected. I understand the no mind idea for use in combat, but in training I believe it is very useful to have an image of yourself and things to improve upon.

Jordan Steele
05-31-2004, 11:13 PM
And to answer my state of mind during training. I treat training as an "encounter" that needs to be respected as if your uke intends to kill you. Focused, relaxed, alert etc. Training is mellow and trusting but as the saying goes "How you train is how you perform." My uke intends to kill me and I am not going to allow that to happen.

05-31-2004, 11:17 PM
It depends on the day, what we are doing, (and recently) if I'm the one teaching :freaky:

For example- atemi day- I AM GOD!!! Fear my mawashi geri and elbow strikes

kokyu ho day- don't grab so hard...I'm just a little shodan

teaching day- mae ukemi? eh? what's that?!? :hypno:

irimi nage day- tin man on a rainy day.

nikyo day: :D

Ian Williams
06-01-2004, 12:24 AM
No mind for me isn't a choice sometimes..

*where did I leave those car keys*

06-01-2004, 08:57 AM
IMHO, self-image by definition is the internal visual representation that my learned ego identity uses as a frame of reference. I try to lose it as much as possible in training and in life. While its useful, it often gets in the way of new learning because it tries to make sense of something new in terms of something I already know and identify with.

When we had to rebuild the Dojo after a fire, many of us were happier without the mirrors.

kung fu hamster
06-01-2004, 09:15 AM
"Is that really me or does this gi make me look fat?"

Ron Tisdale
06-01-2004, 09:25 AM
I'd say most of the time I'd have to go with Lynn's reply. If I can dump the self image I can get down to learning. I don't sucseed nearly as often as I should. Nearly all of my 'problems' on the mat are due to not being able to maintain the 'self image' of the moment, whatever it might be.

I also like training in aikido techniques...


06-01-2004, 10:51 AM
The calm centredness of Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" coupled with the murderous power of "Babe" from "Babe II" and the social integrity of Jaws - seriously Peter, stop smoking what ever you're smoking, I'm used to these type of questions from aiki-fruities like wot I'm meant to be...

I don't sucseed nearly as often as I should. - Ron, are you saying you're a budgie with a bent beak? - sorry, old joke, couldn't resist.

Ron Tisdale
06-01-2004, 11:52 AM
cough...that should be succeed...

Good one! :)


06-01-2004, 12:53 PM
The gi definitely makes me look fat. ;)

I just got back from four days of training at the AAA Eastern States Instructors Seminar. It's been a while since I trained so much in that short a time. For the most part, I found that I really didn't think much about myself during training; I simply thought about what I should be doing.

On the other hand, when I got back to the hotel room, I was surprised to see that I'm bigger than I felt. I'm a pretty big guy, but I've lost about 40 lbs. over the past year. So I'm enjoying being smaller than I was a year ago. But on the mat, I feel lighter and more agile than somebody who looks like me should be.

Oh well. If I continue to lose weight, I'll eventually fit my mental image of myself.


Chris Birke
06-01-2004, 02:34 PM
if I have meaning, I see nothing, if I see everything, it has no meaning

06-01-2004, 03:01 PM
but for me during training, watching the instructor, trying to improve the technique, trying to help my kohai improve theirs, No Mind just can not describe my state of mind during training. It is however an ideal.

Not sure I understood.

Yes, it's an ideal, but how wouldn't it help to foster that in all those situations you describe ? Such as bringing a full attention to detail at each moment. Like the full meaning of the kanji for "i" that begins iaido. At least that is how I look at it.


graham butt
06-01-2004, 04:21 PM
I agree with Jordan Steele.

06-01-2004, 05:15 PM
Self image?
I thought about this question for a long time after reading all the other comments.
The only answer that came to my head was this; I want to come across as my seniors. I aspire to them. I want to be as good as them, so I try to duplicate what they do, including being a good sempai to those below me.
I know this is dangerous as eventually I need to become my own teacher, but I accept this is where I'm at in my training.
So I don't have my own self image as such. I just like having fun in the dojo. :)

Lan Powers
06-01-2004, 09:11 PM
focus,trying to make relaxed concentration.
(ten words or less... remember?)

Choku Tsuki
06-01-2004, 09:41 PM
I don't think 'self-image'; I try to be water, or mizu: http://www.apricotweb.com/bbschat/lang/japanese/kanji/toilet/mizu.gif
I don't think of the kanji for water either; I think it's rather a handsome character (like myself). Seriously, for me there's little "I" on the mat.


06-01-2004, 11:02 PM
"Unco b*****d".