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09-04-2005, 12:30 AM
AikiWeb Poll for the week of September 4, 2005:

How important is facing your own meekness in improving your aikido?

I don't do aikido
Critically important
Very important
Somewhat important
Not very important
Not at all important


Here are the current results (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=288).

SeiserL
09-04-2005, 12:42 PM
How important is facing your own meekness in improving your aikido?

Again, facing ourself is IMHO the only way to improve.

Meekness by definition is gently enduring injury with patience, without resentment, without spirit or courage, submissive, and not violent or strong (Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).

Perhaps meekness and aggression are the opposites which cancel each other out when balanced. Perhaps neither have a place in improving our Aikido or lives.

Kevin Leavitt
09-04-2005, 02:10 PM
I would tend to agree Lynn. However, I think it is relevant. It seems like many come to aikido because it is somewhat of a more gentler art on the surface. Sort of a "self help" or "12 step" for learning to be more agressive.

I on the other hand came from the "too agressive" side of the house to learn the opposite. I think less people come from this side.

However, I agree that the "middle ground" is the best place to be!

billybob
09-06-2005, 05:54 AM
Meekness has earned me some bloody noses; it also helped me survive under the rule of a psychotic parent (or two).

Kyuzo Mifune of judo said we should stand before an opponent and innocently wait to see what they offer us, neither afraid nor aggressive.

Innocence here may mean a neutral focus.

David

bogglefreak20
09-07-2005, 01:02 PM
Meekness in my opinion is crucial in Aikido (and in life in general). I believe it would also be wrong to look at meekness as fear of action. A person able to withstand a direct attack (be it verbal or physical or any other kind) with peace of mind (shall we say innocently) is indeed a very strong person within.

But there is of course a line we have to make - when and where is that point from which we (try to) take the situation in our hands rather than tolerate someone's attack on our person?

I believe to find that line takes a lot of practice (both in Aikido and in life from experience).

I came across a quote a long time ago which illustrates perhaps the inner strenght of meekness I mentioned above: "No man ever caused more difficulty than ``Gentle Jesus, meek and mild´´" It is possible to understand meekness as a fountain of inner strenght that people always sense and at times even fear. So, it seems we're back to Ki, does it not?

Michael Hackett
09-07-2005, 01:30 PM
Lynn Seiser's post reminded me of something Gaku Homma Sensei said at the end of one of his classes at the last Aiki Expo. Homma Sensei sat in seiza and held a jo horizontal to the mat. He pointed to one end and said, in effect, this end is aikido done like dance and this other end is aikido done like Rambo. Neither is good. Aikido should be done in the middle somewhere. Maybe you should move a little to one end or the other at times, but your aikido would be best between the two extremes. Obviously I'm paraphrasing, but his comments resonated with me.

billybob
09-07-2005, 02:11 PM
thank you Miha.

Michael, I agree with Homma Sensei. Please indulge me as I make a flippant comment:

One night after demonstrating an abrupt ikyo out of a hard fast yokomen uchi strike my Sensei said "....And really, as fast as this is all supposed to happen, you just need to put your center where it needs to be."

Could not hold my tongue - said to my training partner "If I could do that I'd be the one teaching."

HA!

David

Patrick Crane
09-08-2005, 01:59 PM
From my tiny little beginner standpoint, I don't think my personal level of meekness or aggression has anything to do with aikido yet.
I'm still just trying to get through each class from a physical fitness pov and hopefully not have to stop and tape up any of my toes.
I'm still just trying to do what they're telling me to do, remember the name of it, and remember how it went by the time I get home so I can at least go over the foot positioning before bedtime.

I have noticed certain students like to play rougher than others...more towards the "Rambo" end of the Jo. Since I played football and hockey as a kid, that's all good with me, and I'm guessing that's probably where I'll end up too.
Even those students tend to play a little nicer with me anyway because I'm sure they know they could easily rip my arm out of my socket and hand it to me if they're not careful.

I just don't think I'm anywhere near the level yet where my attitude, mindset or mood that day, greatly effects what I'm doing on the mat.

MaryKaye
09-08-2005, 02:42 PM
One of my teachers, in trying to get me ready for my upcoming test, has taken to watching how I carry myself. If he sees tension, say in my arms, he´ll seize the tense part and push me backwards using the tension as leverage. ´Something´s not right.´ If he sees limpness, he´ll seize the limp part and fold it up. ´Nope, not right either.´ Somewhere in between is where I´m supposed to be, but it seems very elusive right now.

I think that if you are standing in an (overly) meek place, ´where you´re supposed to be´ can look like aggression; and if you´re standing in an overly aggressive place, ´where you´re supposed to be´ can look like meekness. Probably it´s neither, but like ki extension, some third thing which is more difficult to describe.

Mary Kaye

billybob
09-09-2005, 06:37 AM
Mary said "One of my teachers, in trying to get me ready for my upcoming test, has taken to watching how I carry myself. If he sees tension, say in my arms, he´ll seize the tense part and push me backwards using the tension as leverage."

good teacher.

dave