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View Full Version : Heh, heres a different situation for ya.


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Eric LeCarde
11-09-2005, 08:13 PM
this may sound funny, but Its my situation none the less.

I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance.

Don't know what to do.

roosvelt
11-09-2005, 08:24 PM
I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

Don't know what to do.

I love the idea of a ball room dance. But I just can't get comfortalbe with a partner close by.

Don't know what to do. Help! :o

Bronson
11-09-2005, 08:31 PM
I used to hate talking in front of people...hated it like I'd hate a needle in my eye.

Unfortunately I love teaching which neccessitates being in front of a class; so I learned to step outside my severe dislike of public speaking and do what needed to be done. Over time I became more comfortable with it and now it doesn't bother me.

Stick it out.

Bronson

Eric LeCarde
11-09-2005, 08:35 PM
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.

roosvelt
11-09-2005, 09:04 PM
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.

Get a dead skunk, a bottle of wisky. Put skunk in the wisky for 3 month. Spray the wisky on your body before going to the class.

Get a high voltage zipper, hide wire under you sleeve. Anyone touch you will get zipped, bad.

You'll achieve your goal in no time.

Saji Jamakin
11-09-2005, 09:11 PM
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.

Uuhhh PIVOT! ;)

Saji Jamakin
11-09-2005, 09:16 PM
this may sound funny, but Its my situation none the less.

I love the spirit and philosophy of Aikido, as well as the technique(s). Unfortunatily, I just can't get comfortable with unarmed partner practice. Working that close with another person is just a distraction to me, and really effects my performance. In other kinds of pratner practice, like our dojo's weapon practices, I have no problem with.

I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance.

Don't know what to do.
Try Tanto Randori where uke has a "fake" knife. It will give you some insentive to move and also control the weapon hand. Otherwise I don't know what to tell you. Aikido is a hands on martial art. You have to get comfortable being within hand range or closer to your partner.

crbateman
11-09-2005, 10:05 PM
This is like saying you love to fish, but hate the water... :freaky:

Aikido is predicated on making a connection, blending, and the absorption and redirection of energy. You're comfortable at weapons distance, but Aikido is not primarily about weapons, other than to extend your sphere, and learn more about where many of the empty-hand techniques come from. You will have to adapt if you expect to grow. (Either that, or stand at the door and blast everybody with your ki...)

And if you're looking for a way to keep people from touching you, running away is still the best way to accomplish that.

Shannon Frye
11-09-2005, 10:48 PM
At my dojo, sensei is always telling to "avoid the OTHER hand". Meaning, even though we are practicing unarmed, that doesnt mean an opponent will be. The hand you are in control of is not the problem..the other hand of uke is. I'd recommend picturing your uke armed.
On the other hand, with all the "connecting" and blending that this art requires, I can't imagine chosing this art while prefering to keep distance from your opponent. You might want to re-evaluate your needs and what art will best suit your preferences. If your not comfortable with an art, it's time to change arts.

Shannon

Janet Rosen
11-09-2005, 11:44 PM
I can't imagine chosing this art while prefering to keep distance from your opponent. You might want to re-evaluate your needs and what art will best suit your preferences. If your not comfortable with an art, it's time to change arts.
Well either that, or decide that aikido is a good place to specifically work on intimacy issues, and proceed.

Eric LeCarde
11-10-2005, 12:16 AM
When I first saw Aikido performed, it was mostly based on evasion and redirection, thats what got me interested for the most part, as well as its application in JSA. Maybe I saw something different? Any clue here? As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.

I am enamored with the weapons taught in the class... so just passing it up is a difficult thing to do. Plus, its a good dojo with great students and instructors who have been very helpful and patient.

batemanb
11-10-2005, 01:54 AM
Eh, I take aikido to prevent people from touching me. It seems counterproductive to step in and go side to side when a person throws a punch at your stomache. I'd much rather keep my distance and deal with things from there.

Being blunt, you've got a couple of choices:

Go home and forget about aikido (maybe take up Karate or some such)

Learn to deal with it.

Aikido is about avoiding conflict, but there will always be a connection between you and your partner. Mostly in the early days this will be physical. Only through developing this practice will you be able to progress and minimize the physical contact, by which time it won't be a problem for you anyways ;).

I come across this problem every week in my junior class, the boys don't want to touch the girls, the girls don't want to touch the boys. It doesn't take them long to adapt :).

rgds

Bryan

crbateman
11-10-2005, 02:11 AM
As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.THAT is NOT avoidance... If you are grabbed, whether it be from the back or the front, then it's too late to avoid. Now you have to interact physically. It sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it, too. If you want to train with weapons, maybe kendo would work better for you. Aikido does not teach you how to fight with a stick or a sword, anyway. One thing I learned about weapons long ago is that you never have one when you really need it, anyway, so you'd better not become too dependent on them. Overcome your discomfort, and learn some empty-hand.

Pauliina Lievonen
11-10-2005, 05:33 AM
Maybe I saw something different? Any clue here? As you can imagine, my main desire is to learn an art about avoidance. Sure, you can run, but not if someone grabs you from behind.

Frankly, I think you saw what you wished to see.

Avoidance will only take you so far. Not connecting with people might keep you feeling safe, but don't you think you'll miss out on a lot of good things, too? Practicing aikido might be a chance to discover that contact isn't all bad. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

Steve Mullen
11-10-2005, 06:38 AM
Hi Eric, you seem to be comfortable with weapons work but don't like to stand 'toe to toe' with someone. try training with a short sword instead of a katana, try buying a cheap jo and cutting it in half, you use half and so does your partner, the reason for this is that it will make you more accustomed to being closer to people while still giving you that 'security blanket' of having the weapons work you enjoy.

Hope it helps

SeiserL
11-10-2005, 08:15 AM
I guess I just don't like being that close to someone, I would rather keep my distance. Don't know what to do.
What is the negative internal fantasy that comes up in your head when you are close to somebody? What don't you like about being close? What are you afraid will happen if you are close?

Its usually the attached fantasy that makes us uncomfortable, not the reality.

Eric LeCarde
11-10-2005, 09:38 AM
Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like :)

Dazzler
11-10-2005, 09:52 AM
Hope this isn't too insensitive but I dont see the point of this thread.

Its a bit like asking for advice on the best trainers for jogging...and then saying you havent got any feet!

I think you should be on a medical forum matey.

James Davis
11-10-2005, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like :)
Eric, in the time that you've been training, has your pain threshold increased any? Maybe, over time, you could adapt to the discomfort...

Even students that have done aikido for years can have problems with getting close to people, but techniques are more effective when you get close (under their center of gravity).

When you look up "ai" in a japanese-to-english dictionary, there's a pretty good chance that the first definition you come across is "love". Closeness improves technique; over time, it raises comfort levels associating with other people. Give it a few more tries before you quit. :)

Janet Rosen
11-10-2005, 11:06 AM
Eric, hi. Well, yes, it helps to have complete information (smile).
There are ways in which "standard" aikido can be adapted to individuals with various disabilities or special needs, and the most critical factor is the attitude of the individual instructor. Some are genuinely interested in figuring out how to make it work for the student, others give lip service, others honestly cannot be bothered. So I'd suggest you start by talking openly w/ your chief instructor about the very real physical issues you have in "standard" training and see if s/he is interested in working w/ you (and of course w/ cooperation of training partners) on ways to train. Maybe it would just be weapons work, maybe some other options exist--but worth exploring within your dojo.

bogglefreak20
11-10-2005, 11:36 AM
Thanks for all the replies, but there is a fair bit of assuming going on around here (which may be my fault, since I was vauge to begin with).

I have rare neurological disorder which, to sum things up, makes me hyper sensitive to contact. The most painful and shocking forms are ones where I'm being grabbed, things are rubbing against my body and the like.... the best way to describe it is that it feels as though you have burn wounds all over your body. Thats why I hate doing the throws which involve sliding your arms/body along the person and pushing them. The odd exception is that brief contact is not distubing at all (such as a tap or so, thats why I'm able to spar without any issues, this little part has kept doctors scratching thier heads), so I've been able to do martial arts which were no so hold-intesive.

If anyone has ever been around an autistic person, they have slightly more severe neuropathic disturbances then I do (they normally scream out when someone touches them).

thanks for all the suggestions and the like :)


The extra info you provided is crucial. Of the top of my head just a suggestion - visualisation techniques can make wonders with all kinds of disorders. In some neurological disorders the brain interprets the neural "messages" incorrectly. Sometimes the brain can be "tricked" into different kinds of perception. You say that your body doesn't react to taps and alike - that may be your window of opportunity that you can spread and widen by using visualisation techniques.

Hope you stay in Aikido for a long time. One way or the other. Best of luck to you!

aikidojoe
11-10-2005, 11:42 AM
Eric,

I think Janet might have the best option for you. Training one on one with someone who knows your condition, and can adapt the movement for you is your only option. And I don't see how this could be done during normal class without taking sensei's time away from the rest of the class.

Aikido is a grappling martial art. If you want to train in class you're going to have to physically grapple with people, usually much more in the beginning years. I think what you saw was a Discovery Channel demonstration from a sensei called Rev. Kensho Furuya from CA. I am not taking anything away from his rank and ability or school. I think the editing of the segment made it look like he was doing a dance or magic show, and not a martial art. It was a dis-service to aikido, and to martial arts in general. To get to that point, he has trained more than 47 years in martial arts.

crbateman
11-10-2005, 12:31 PM
Eric, now that you have told us what you are dealing with, I think I can say with greater certainty that you will not ever be comfortable with Aikido, unless you can find some medical or psychological solution to your condition. The aspects of the art that you have no problem with are such a small part of the overall experience, I can't see much in the way of a positive outcome, for yourself or your training partners.

I am sensitive to the correlation you made to autism. As the grandparent of an autistic child, I can tell you that extreme measures were taken to adapt his environment to what is most tolerable to him. Fortunately, he is happy and comfortable, and also blissfully ignorant of the effort it took to make his life as normal as possible. But in your case, you would need your instructor, all your fellow students, your training regimen (and theirs), and the very nature of Aikido to undergo a paradigm shift to suit your condition. I'm sure they would try, but repeated opportunities for discomfort would still inevitably occur. And you will be aware of the problems, and possibly be even more uncomfortable and self-conscious of the effort being made to accommodate your special needs.

I usually try to encourage everybody to give Aikido their best shot, regardless of the disability, but in this case, I just don't see that Aikido can give you enough of what you want, or protect you from too much of what you don't. A person with allergies doesn't sleep in a ragweed field just to listen to the crickets.

I do hope you find a solution to the problem, and if it's one that can keep you with us, I'd be very happy for you. Good luck.

Eric LeCarde
11-10-2005, 02:14 PM
Thanks for all the replies, everyone has been very helpful.

Through relaxation and meditation techniques I can enter a state of mind where my awareness is detached from my body, and its in this state the pain of contact dosen't get through. I think of it as a state of mindlessness or nothing, if you want to put it into classical(?) terms. The problem is, I'm not responsive to instruction when in this state of mind, so it would not be possible to apply during training. Its best for doing something I already know how to do. For example, if I know the motions but I need to work on my execution of them.

The problem is that even though I am able to withstand the pain, it does draw my attention and keep me tense, where the techniques require fluidity and blending. I don't know of anything I could do to change that part.

I haven't told my teacher or any of the other students about my condition, because I hate creating a burden for others or expecting special exceptions. I think one poster is correct, its hazy if I'm going to have a future in aikido, or at least the unarmed section.

I'll talk to him about it. Maybe an arrangement can be made so that I can just focus on the weapons training.

For people wondering why I posted, I was initially curious if there were forms of aikido that focued more on making less contect and more evasion. I'm somewhat of a beginner, so this was a question about aikido and different styles.

thanks a bunch, take care

bogglefreak20
11-10-2005, 02:35 PM
A person with allergies doesn't sleep in a ragweed field just to listen to the crickets.


I beg to differ. I do it once in a while. Meditate under the stars and try to ignore the messed-up neurons trying to convince me that I'm being attacked by grass in full bloom. Mind over matter. To an extent it works.

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2005, 03:10 PM
Try Brazilian Jiujitusu for a week, then come back to aikido, that will make you seem like you are miles from your opponent! :)

Good luck in your studies. Everyone has things they must learn to overcome. Hopefully you can work through it.

crbateman
11-10-2005, 06:54 PM
I beg to differ. I do it once in a while. Meditate under the stars and try to ignore the messed-up neurons trying to convince me that I'm being attacked by grass in full bloom. Mind over matter. To an extent it works.Your neurons aren't trying to tell you anything... You ARE being attacked by grass. It is a bona fide medical condition, not a state of mind. Why would anyone expose themselves to such a hazard just to try to convince themselves it doesn't really exist? :freaky: Even if you do manage to ignore the discomfort or the danger to some degree, what exactly is the point, when you could have just as easily avoided the exposure altogether? Overcoming a fear by embracing what you're afraid of is purely psychological, and is an entirely different thing.

ruthmc
11-11-2005, 08:05 AM
For people wondering why I posted, I was initially curious if there were forms of aikido that focued more on making less contect and more evasion. I'm somewhat of a beginner, so this was a question about aikido and different styles.

Hi Eric,

Sure there are "no touch" throws in Aikido. The founder Morihei Ueshiba was pretty good at them in his later years :) Unfortunately it takes a lot of time and a lot of training in the more physical stuff before you can do these throws. For most of us there are no short cuts or ways around it. It's not different styles, it's different lengths of time training in Aikido that give you the ability to train that way.

However, basic avoidance of any attack is something you can practise. One exercise I have done is to continuously evade an attacker or several attackers by moving and stepping away from them and around them. This improves your awareness, timing, movement and posture. As there is no throwing involved you just have to hope they get tired before you do, or they will keep attacking! At higher levels it is possible to lead your attacker to the floor without making physical contact. This requires a great degree of control over your own timing, blending and movement.

IMHO you can learn to do this, but you will require sensitive instruction and training partners to achieve it. Talk to your sensei. Don't give up!

Ruth