View Full Version : aikido principles in every day life
03-04-2001, 05:05 PM
i have resently been asked to write a report on how i use aikido principles in my every day life and i have writers block, and i was wondering if some of you could post some examples and/or stories of how you might uses some of the principles in your everyday life.
[Edited by aikijames on March 4, 2001 at 05:07pm]
03-04-2001, 08:22 PM
I have tried to apply Aiki Philosophy to driving and verbal communication. I am not always successful in "keeping my center" in both these daily encounters, but find the practice of taking my Aikido "off the mat" in these venues. I also find that I have a lot to learn in both areas, especially the verbal communication.
Instead of giving you my experiences, I recommend you try it out for yourself. Think of blending with traffic (or other ways driving can be "Aikido-like") and harmonizing with other people you are conversing with by either using words they use or the volume or pace in which they use them. I found the first step was to imagine the others you are practicing with being your actual training partners from your dojo.
Good luck, and tell us what happens!
03-08-2001, 03:13 AM
My first teacher used to insist we were conscious of how we walked outside the dojo for a miscellany of reasons. I've found breathing control to help prevent coughing when I've been sick.
Koichi Tohei wrote a book about this (or maybe it was somebody else) containing things like "How to improve your golf swing with Ki"
One practice which I have done for a very long time and which our Dojo Cho has recommended is to practice your mai and zanshin while walking through crowds. Practice maintaining your distance and position while moving through crowds of people - mai. To do this, you must maintain an awareness of everyone and everything around you - zanshin. This has been compared to watching fish swim in a bowl. They are constantly moving, yet they never collide with each other or even touch.
Also, get a hold of George Leonard's book "The Way of Aikido - Life Lessons from an American Sensei." In it, the author discusses many ways to make use of your aikido "off the mat." Plus, it's a pretty good read...
03-08-2001, 02:01 PM
While you're at it, check out Terry Dobson and Victor Miller's "Aikido in Everyday Life : Giving in to Get Your Way"
This is a great book that teaches the theories behind Aikido to non-Aikidoka in an off-the-mat, mostly non-physical setting. I have found it to be very insightful, both directly related to my Aikido training, and also to the way I deal with conflict in the "real world".
03-13-2001, 01:28 AM
thank you everyone for helping me out i am starting my report and i am really greatful for your post
Here is one of my experiences: being a marine scientist I have to count single cell algae in my experiments before and after they are being grazed by small crustaceans. Normally these algae form dense layers so they occur in very high numbers. At the beginning it took me a whole day to count a single experiment ( as I had been warned before by my "sempai"). Then one night, when I was already a bit tired, something changed (I don't know when because I noticed afterwards). It was like letting myself just flow with my counting, leading me through the algae without focusing on one after another.
I didn't try to keep track of my counting any more, that's what my counter is for. So, in the end I was three to four times faster than before. When I thought about this afterwards, it came down to basic aikido principles: zanshin (awareness, acting on intuition without thinking),mushin ("empty spirit",having no intents, being open and not fixed on something), hishiryo (not letting your mind get stuck with a thought or intent) and kokyu (being in rhythm with your breath).
I was really suprised because that night all this came from inside me without thinking about it.
So now when I have to count again I just relax, focus on my breath for a few minutes and then start. It's much easier now and I think my results are better and more exact than before.
03-16-2001, 02:34 PM
I use Aiki in everyday life. I'm a salesman and Aikido is just negotiation as combat. Read any negotiation training manual and you'll see basic principles being taught. Have fun with your report.
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