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Mark Uttech
02-01-2006, 05:36 AM
How many of you keep an aikido notebook? And if you keep one, how does it help you? I have always advised people to keep an aikido notebook as part of their practice. I believed it made their practice more serious, more true, and more real. It also created a space where they could privately meet with themselves.

eyrie
02-01-2006, 06:17 AM
Not just an aikido notebook, but a MA journal for all thoughts, ideas, notes, epiphanies, conversations, book titles, book reviews, etc. etc. related to all martial arts (or sometimes remotely related subject matter) I may encounter in my journey.

kokyu
02-01-2006, 06:23 AM
I kept an electronic notebook until very recently... my training has been disrupted for a short while. I find a notebook useful in reflecting on my techniques. I write down the moves that I've found difficulty with and what I think I should do the next time to correct them. I also write down advice that I've found useful.

I once stopped training for about 6 months and the notebook was invaluable in helping me recall the teachings of my previous Sensei. For some reason, certain mistakes can creep back into one's technique, but a review of one's notes help's remind oneself of those mistakes.

I have to admit though... keeping a notebook requires some discipline... and can be time-consuming... especially when one has a lot of thoughts or made a lot of mistakes for that week :)

UnholyFracas
02-01-2006, 08:52 AM
I don't keep a note book but I think I might start. I tend to move from one lesson to the next not really thinking about Aikido until I'm in class.

A note book would focus my mind on things, whether done well or needing improvement. I've always had a general diary of some sort whic helps me think things through and provides rant space :mad: so that I don't clobber (physically or verbally) a passing stranger :( . Having a focus within the notebook would be a another good step towards my attempts at self control and improvement... :cool:
Any excuse to buy more posh stationary. :)

Ron Tisdale
02-01-2006, 10:02 AM
I have at various times, and it has been usefull, especially at seminars. I think it's something we should all try at least once.

Best,
Ron

Lan Powers
02-01-2006, 10:09 AM
I have one....it started as just a hours log, and developed into a much more inclusive thing.
If I could just retain as much information as I have written down........
Lan

Trish Greene
02-01-2006, 10:27 AM
This is such a great idea and something that I have wanted to do but keeping forgetting to do! I am still in the 'beginning' stage of my Aikido journey, this would be a great thing for me to start doing!

Simbo
02-01-2006, 10:42 AM
I kept a little txt file on my computer that after practices I would type as much as I could remember about what technique we did and what is was. Then I got a new computer and didn't get it transfered over, so I no longer have it. I have been thinking about making an actual paper one, but that's a lot of work and I'm a little bit lazy. But if I had the motivation to, I would start another one with more then just the physical technique.

John A Butz
02-01-2006, 11:36 AM
I didn't keep a notebook until this year. I find it helps me remember the small technical details that I often forget between classes. I also log my mat time and my physical training time. I figure that, come year end, I will be able to see more clearly where I started the year at (in terms of ability and understanding) and what areas I need to focus on to get to where I want to be.

aikigirl10
02-01-2006, 01:36 PM
hmm... i have never thought about doing anything like this. It may just be something worth trying. Thanks for the idea.

Lyle Bogin
02-01-2006, 02:19 PM
I have a running log that I have been keeping on and off since about '94. The thing winds up with everything from martial musings to grocery lists in it. It always great to look back and read how stupid you were...makes you think how stupid you must be now!

ESimmons
02-01-2006, 02:40 PM
One of my sensei recently suggested keeping a notebook. I have a friend who's been doing Kung Fu for a couple of years and keeps notes. I do not currently, but I would like to.

I guess I'd never considered it something I personally would benefit from, since our cirriculum is outlined and there are instructional tapes we have for each kyu level. Also, I am the type of person to do a lot of reading, so I have some aikido books with plenty of documented thoughts on aikido technique.

Still, like someone else said, it'd be a good habit, would fill in the empty space from one class to the next, and would give me an opportunity to have "a meeting with myself." I like the idea.

jim312uav
02-01-2006, 03:57 PM
I have been keeping a notebook for the last year. I am not always good about updating it but I find I go back to it a lot to remember points insructors have said or all the things that are covered in different seminars that I use to forget.

Dajo251
02-01-2006, 04:01 PM
I really like this idea, I may start...well that is if I remember and my hands decided to function correctly after class tonight

Mato-san
02-02-2006, 05:34 AM
I keep a notebook, I guess it is a log on everything I learned during the lesson, the intricate stuff that needs to be recorded and I reflect on the notes regular. I think it is a must if you are serious about what you do. I find it helps heaps, I can`t even explain how much, but I am sure you all know how much it helps. Another thing is I think that it would be hard for anyone else to process what I record because It is all recorded in a manner for me, personally. Usually technique s broken right down and major check points, taiso check points. But yeah I think it is a must.

ian
02-02-2006, 09:02 AM
I used to keep one, and it was extremely useful. You forget so much, especially the first few years. When I go on courses I still take a notebook. I think we need to personally develop our view of aikido, and a notebook also helps us to think about this.

Although aikido books are useful in some respect, there is not one aikido book that contains even a fraction of the knowledge that a good instructor has. Much of what you figure out and write yourself from seeing what your instructor does is never mentioned in aikido books; I suppose 'cos aikido books are written for a large 'beginner' audience and thus mostly just say the basics of the movement in a technqiue, and that much of the understanding has to be built up incrementaly and can't be written down without sounding inappropraitely esoteric. Also, it seems some martial arts books are written to appeal to the 'learn how to kill some-one, from the comfort of your arm-chair' crowd.

Josh Reyer
02-02-2006, 09:18 AM
I keep an aikido journal here (http://www.aikido.ne.jp/sec03_02.html). (You'll have to be able to read Japanese.) It tracks dates, the weather, techniques, how you feel (before and after keiko), and anything you feel like adding.

John A Butz
02-02-2006, 09:46 AM
One of those little micro-cassette recorders make an excellent tool for recording class notes. You can talk your notes into it on the drive home, and then transcribe them later. They are really helpful with seminars, as it takes less time to talk then to write an equivalent amount of words. You can get your notes down in between sessions.

Mark Uttech
02-02-2006, 03:04 PM
These are all helpful and worthwhile responses. Lots of aikidoka that I have met keep an aikido notebook, and sometimes we joke about the boxes of aikido notebooks that make us wonder what we tried to understand anew.

Kris Garland
02-02-2006, 04:41 PM
How would you go about keeping an aikido notebook? I've never been much on taking notes other then when it was required for a grade. So needless to say I'm way in the dark on note taking. All of you have mentioned how much it helps you so I want to start one for that,but I also think if I start taking an aikido one It will help me when college rolls around.

~Kris

Adam Alexander
02-02-2006, 06:53 PM
I keep one.

It's good and bad. Keeps me motivated for sure. However, I stress out over it being stolen or lost.

Crazy as it might sound, I never understood why anyone would have a problem with "search and seizure" until I made a journal. Now, I'm worried someone's going to get all my little secrets. LOL.

Mark Freeman
02-02-2006, 07:13 PM
I have a running log that I have been keeping on and off since about '94. The thing winds up with everything from martial musings to grocery lists in it. It always great to look back and read how stupid you were...makes you think how stupid you must be now!

Maybe this is why I don't write anything down, there is no record of how stupid I was ( or still am! ):D

Seriously though, I'm respectfully going against the grain of the postings here. I can see and appreciate that many people gain a great deal from keeping a record/journal/notes that helps them in their aikido.
I have not, and may never keep a log, simply because for me aikido does not live in any text. I have read some great books on the subject, particularly those charting OSensei's life and teaching. But I can honestly say that all of my aikido has been learnt on the mat from my teachers and fellow students.
The moment I read posts/text trying to expain an aikido technique or some form of body movement, my brain goes into meltdown. I just can't fathom how that translates into 3 dimensional real time reality, especially when there is another human being involved. It's hard enough to teach when the student is in contact, let alone being once ore twice removed through language and 2D text.
Anyway, I enjoy reading the contributions being made, and there are some excellent contributors to these forums, so my enjoyment of aikido is enhanced by the connection to the wider community through the written word.
Traditionally, our post practice social revolves around a trip to the local inn for a pint of fine ale, a laugh and joke. So writing up notes would seem 'not in the spirit of the moment'. Having said that I practice with people who do make notes, when they've got back from the pub! :D

Cheers all,
Mark

Dajo251
02-02-2006, 08:55 PM
I really like this idea, I may start...well that is if I remember and my hands decided to function correctly after class tonight

yeah I failed in my attempt to make a notebook....oh well, maybe once I get closer to testing I will start

Mark Uttech
02-03-2006, 05:25 AM
Kris, here is an example of an aikido notebook, a quote attributed to then Doshu K. Ueshiba:
"In Aikido, every standing technique has a corresponding seated technique. Training in seated techniques will make one's standing techniques stronger and more centered"
and other notes: Interesting idea, teaching mae kaiten from morote-tori (attributed to Ikeda Shihan)
When katate-tori begins- who grabs you? Terry Dobson once said: "the uke brings your death."
When you write things down, they go a little deeper into you. All your notes over all the years, can be visited again and again as you learn.

kokyu
02-03-2006, 05:34 AM
How would you go about keeping an aikido notebook?

In my case, I keep all my thoughts + advice received + things read into a text file. I update the file once at the end of every week and date the entries... it's a bit like an off-line blog actually.... but I keep it strictly to Aikido-related issues. Once the file goes beyond a certain size, I start the next version.

Good luck! :)

kokyu
02-03-2006, 05:35 AM
When katate-tori begins- who grabs you? Terry Dobson once said: "the uke brings your death."

I like this one... although I'm not sure how this will affect tori's actions towards uke during practice :p

John A Butz
02-03-2006, 07:49 AM
I record the hours I train and the subjects I train on just to have a reference for what I have been through in a given time period.

As far as what I write down, I try to remember the corrections and the key technical points that Sensei gives us during practice. When I write my lesson plans for the class I teach, I reference what he said so that I can use the same language and work on the same points he is working on.

I have never been able to capture the actual movements of the techniques with text, so I stick to these "check-points" when I write my notebook.

Amanda
02-03-2006, 08:07 AM
I am a beginner and the only sort of notes I have ever kept are those about which name goes with which technique. Trying to right down more infomation and ideas might be helpful. Is there a 'right' time to start a notebook?

Lan Powers
02-03-2006, 10:36 AM
"Now" is good
:)
Lan

Kris Garland
02-04-2006, 05:01 AM
thanks for the the advice and how-tos :). But I don't think we do anything with names and such...It could be that I've only gone to two lessons...But i still don't recall him giving any names with anything...he just refers to them as 1 through 10 or 21 through 30. Maybe its because i'm new and he is just trying to make sure I get the moves down?

Mato-san
02-04-2006, 07:34 AM
How would you go about keeping an aikido notebook? I've never been much on taking notes other then when it was required for a grade. So needless to say I'm way in the dark on note taking. All of you have mentioned how much it helps you so I want to start one for that,but I also think if I start taking an aikido one It will help me when college rolls around.

~Kris
Kris, Just try it, I also never kept notes on anything ,diary, schedule you name it ,nothing. But seriously my opinion is if you learn something new, record it, if its old you already have it recorded so it helps, only if you reflect on it once in a while. Also I guess the notebook depends on how serious you are about remembering the intricacies. Either way it helps

ccain85
03-21-2006, 09:23 PM
i add my first entry to my aikido notebook tonight before and after class. i noticed something about it though; it didnt have any technical points written in it. all it consisted of was me complaining about posture, shoulders being tight, not being able to do sankyo to one of the new guys, etc. is something wrong here?

Mark Uttech
03-22-2006, 06:29 AM
Writing complaints is very similiar to getting stuck in Spring mud. The best way to write complaints is to write them and when you are finished, crumple up the paper and throw it into a wastebasket. An advanced technique is throwing it directly into a fire.

Ben Eaton
03-24-2006, 03:48 PM
Reading this thread I've started to write up on the computer "everything I know" about each technique in series, and in doing so I've found I remember a lot more of the little points sensei talks about in lesson, and think, well actually what is it that I do that makes them hit the floor, or roll across the room?

It's the same way when I get asked to guide a new person through a technique or form, when asked to put something into words or to describe a technique, you are forced to put more thought into it than you (possibly) normally would. Without this you can get into the habit of "ah yes I have this down, I just do... THIS. Voila.", instead of studying what it is you are doing.
I found that writing these down is definitely benefiting my mental process, and through that my physical actions in training. Thanks to Mark for starting this thread!

Ed Shockley
04-23-2006, 08:01 AM
I am busy at work on my second two hundred page notebook and find the process invaluable. I record key philosophical comments, pictures of techniques, occasional emails in response to training, addresses of dojos, extensive notes from seminars... The content is less significant than the meditation on technique and thought required to draw movement or articulate a philosophy. I special treat is when no one arrives for the 6:45am Thursday morning class and I imagine I am experiencing a private class with O'Sensei. (Don't think I'm nuts, just the picture feels better than training alone.) Invariably new insights arrive.

Lucy Smith
04-27-2006, 01:03 PM
I just keep a portfolio with techniques drawings and names, dojo rules and the requirements for kyu and dan gradings, but I liked the idea of an Aikido journal. I'll start tomorrow after class.

:D:D:D

Bowjamer
04-30-2006, 08:28 AM
jotting down notes right after class would be the ticket but cant carry around note pad and pencil durring class like I would need too and get the finner points recorded.

mickeygelum
04-30-2006, 11:45 AM
I require my students to keep a notebook/journal, in their own words....it is the simplest way to refresh their memory of technique, practice, history or whatever...I have alot of students that hold dan ranks in other styles, equating one movement/technique to another is vital to their ability to refresh or learn the new form...

I still keep a journal...even after all these years.... :ki: