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-   -   Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14222)

dalen7 04-01-2008 02:53 PM

Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Hello everyone...I suppose it has been about 5 months since I last posted.

I took a break from aikido in the month of November of last year, after training for exactly 6 months.

Just started back today on April fools.

There was a number of things that inspired me to stop, but one, at the time that really was the straw that broke the camels back.

Those who have seen my post will know that I live in Hungary and really do not speak the language. Sure Im better than a tourist...but Im not at the level of a 5 year old...anyway.

This did cause issues, as I love to talk and express myself through words, etc. The issues, were more internal as I could not really express them. Sure I could have tried, but when you use base Hungarian thing can really be misunderstood and taken in the wrong way that is at a deeper level.

After 4 months of training some new people started up last Sept.
Well it was decided after a few weeks that they, along with me, would all take the 6th kyu test together...wait a minute...

I started basically at the same time as a dude who was already tested for 6th kyu but was going to take a test with people who had just started training. I was ready, and a couple of people (a 1st kyu) thought I had tested months back.

Again, language was the initial barrier in training, and a lot of concepts didnt really hit me until my 6 month. (Well lets just say, the concepts were pretty fluid...I was really getting into how to make the moves work...leveraging, balance, etc.)

Thankfully my reading and Aikido 3D CD helped me along or I would have fumbled around and gave up a long time ago.

Anyway...I never really expressed to my teacher my disappointment with what happened. i.e., people just start that are clumsy and dont have a clue, let along not even able to execute any form similar to the moves, and here I am going to test the same time as them.

Now words really dont come across well.
Sure if i was reading this i may quickly judge this post as someone who needs a bit of humility and that is why i was not tested.
Does go a lot deeper and words are tricky indeed, even amongst people who speak the same language.

So winter popped up, and it is chilly here...I could have tested in Dec., but I was put off with the idea that these other guys would rank up there with me. So I just stopped going.

Well, now they have 1 month edge on me...but after seeing them today realize that the gusto that I put into my first 6 months still gives me a clear edge. This is not about being better, and again...it can easily be taken that way when one reads what Im writing.

Getting past all that, I will say that in the beginning this whole experience with Aikido was good for me to watch my ego.

I feel it has gone to another deeper level.
There is a new guy, only been doing it for one month, and I caught myself thinking...I hope I dont get stuck with him.

Well, typically here people try to stay away from the new guys as they want to learn from someone more experienced or at least as experienced as them...and also who speaks their language even though there is not much talking on the mat. ;)

But then I remembered what Eckhart Tolle said on Oprah (there is a weekly video online course every monday for free), and he basically said to watch what you are doing and how you are making what is happening now negative by the labels you wrap around it. -

Look for the good in what is happening now.
So then I did...instead of dreading the time with the new guy and waiting and wanting someone with more experience to practice with...I took the opportunity to make the best out of what was going on. After all practice is practice and teaching helps to solidify what you do and dont know.

I will say with a 5 month break I was rusty...and having only had 6 months traning before.

But this rebirth, or new beginning, was a lot different than the first time. Things popped up and I remembered why and how the techniques were to be implemented. The leveraging, balance, twist, etc.

Good news I found out...my teacher is now a 1st Dan black belt.
He passed his test on Sunday. I think he has trained for 10 years.

Supposedly you move up the first few kyus fast but takes longer as you get up. Well, except me...hehe...Im still at no kyu. (Well, I will say 7 since there isnt a 7.)

I do not doubt that he will have me test sometime...could be a couple months now...But the fact is the belt doesnt make the person.

See I knew this before. Especially with what I just shared in how my teacher, who has trained for 10+ years just got his first degree black belt....while others get it in 1, 3, or 5 years. (This dude can kick butt...lets just say that.)

So the concept was there, but the time off was good.
I had to deal with the ego that was there.
Face it, not run away...accept it, not reject it...and then make a conscious choice.

Is it gone...sure its not. But life is great and its good to get deeper and start to take the joy in life and really begin to experience it...not waiting for outside things to make me something or someone...or not waiting for some since of security by a label or test.

The true test is that which is within.

I picked up Aikido specifically for its spiritual practice.
Sure, depending on how this is read, you can take what Im saying a number of ways and say..."are you serious...doesnt sound like it to me."

But words carry with it a certain weight put upon it by ones own cultural and social and religious milieu...so we understand what one says through the grid system of our own perspectives...and lets face it, one post is hardly long enough to really express oneself on a deep level. A lot gets lost in words that are written.

Anyway, just thought I would share.
It was good to do some Aikido...maybe I can maintain and solidify some of this knowledge...both the spiritual and the actual training part of it...despite the fact i dont plan to need to use it... :)

Peace

dAlen

Ron Tisdale 04-01-2008 03:07 PM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Glad you're back to training, and I hope you stick with it.

Best,
Ron

dalen7 04-01-2008 03:45 PM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Quote:

Ron Tisdale wrote: (Post 202958)
Glad you're back to training, and I hope you stick with it.

Best,
Ron

Thanks for the welcome back.
I will have to admit, the cold Hungarian winter (with the fact that there is no heating in the gym) kind of kept me away. ;)

But now spring is here...yeah I was pretty psyched today after it finished. It was good to do some of the moves and to start recalling some of the ideas behind them and how to properly implement them.

anyway...peace

dalen

Shany 04-01-2008 04:32 PM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Hey Dalen Johnson,

Good to hear you're back on track!
If I understand right, you moved to Hungary? so where are you from originally and why did you choose Hungary ?

It's good to hear that even with all the doubts and thoughts, you finally chose to go back and do it. Not a lot of people does that, and it shows that you have character!

Tests or no tests, you must feel the progress inside of you and express it outward using Aikido techniques.

When working with new/experienced participants always try to blend into their motions.

Sometimes I like to work with new guys rather with old, just because you can experience that Unknown side of Attacker's attacks that is not polished yet with Aikido's techniques, and that will help you build your own technique interpretation better than doing scripted attacks from more experienced aikidoka.

Practice in the end will come forth and tests in time. No rush. Enjoy the path, feed your mind and build a strong body to maintain health.
always ask questions and do not try to stuck on little things, they will flow in eventually.

dalen7 04-02-2008 12:36 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Quote:

Shany Golan wrote: (Post 202964)
Good to hear you're back on track!
If I understand right, you moved to Hungary? so where are you from originally and why did you choose Hungary ?

It's good to hear that even with all the doubts and thoughts, you finally chose to go back and do it. Not a lot of people does that, and it shows that you have character!

always ask questions and do not try to stuck on little things, they will flow in eventually.

Thanks for the comments...

I moved to Hungary 3 years ago come this June 14th...although I have not yet taken up the task to learn the language - beyond that which I already mentioned, the common phrases that have to do with basic survival. (In truth I understand a bit...just cant get the words out yet...) :)

Why I moved...freedom in short.
I had an opportunity to spend time with my wife and 4 kids without having to work anymore. Sounds ideal when you say it that way...'Im retired in my early 30s', but again most people who may envy this would drop the envy when they realize it comes down to what is important to that individual...a give and a take.

I took freedom and got Hungary.
Not that Hungary is a bad thing, but when you give up that which you are accustomed to, living in Atlanta, a city of 4+ million people...to live in a village of 25k people...where no one knows english (not really, and if they do, you wont know as they are to shy to speak), and the social, cultural milieu is as backwards as you can imagine it to be from my way of life. (backwards not in a bad way...just different.) I would compare the mentality to any small city though, throughout the world...anyway, not sure how well Im getting across what Im trying to say which is the grass always looks greener on the other side...you have to learn to be happy where you are. And while Im happy to be with my family, Im learning to be content to be happy where I am with them here in Hungary.

You hit the nail on the head...not to get stuck on little things...I think I made a living out of doing that, and that now is my 'spiritual practice to let things flow'.

It truly is amazing, because Aikido from the very beginning has been a great tool to challenge my ego and help me observe things on a spiritual level. But its interesting as I notice that the tool is only as good as what the person makes it out to be. It appears, from my observation, that Aikido is as much a spiritual tool to them as a t.v. is without electricity. Point is, I suppose, is things are whatever we make them out to be.

Peace

dAlen

Dieter Haffner 04-02-2008 02:48 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Good to see you found your way back into aikido.

I would like to make one suggestion.
Maybe it is time to start learning the language. I believe that this will improve your social life. Aikido is part of that social life and it seems that you are not fully excepted into the community (at least in the aikido community).
You can say that aikido is all about love and excepting others etc... Although that might be true, this has to come from both sides.
Maybe they feel you are lacking in that perspective? That they get the feeling that they are the only ones that need to adapt (they are the ones that are to shy to speak English, ...).
If you want to change anything, you will need to make that first step. And I sincerely believe that learning the language will be a good start.

Best of luck with your new life in Hungary and aikido.

SeiserL 04-02-2008 04:39 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Welcome back.
Compliments on recognizing the part that recognizes the ego.
Now get back to training.

dalen7 04-02-2008 06:12 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Quote:

Dieter Haffner wrote: (Post 203003)
Good to see you found your way back into aikido.

I would like to make one suggestion.
Maybe it is time to start learning the language. I believe that this will improve your social life. Aikido is part of that social life and it seems that you are not fully excepted into the community (at least in the aikido community).
Best of luck with your new life in Hungary and aikido.

Great post...
I agree about the acceptance based on language, there is a natural barrier there, which I do try to cross...

Being a Thespian (stage actor, but this was in school), and a 'debater', I love to talk...and I am quite expressive with what little of the language I know and with my hand gestures etc.

I try, but as mentioned, some people are more gifted with language learning. Europeans are a good example, like yourself, where you were exposed to and had to learn the language.

In truth...for me to really learn Hungarian (and they will not deny, it is one of the hardest languages...literally...to learn in the world.), would take more effort than what it is worth for the amount I use it.

Sounds rough the way Im putting it, but it will have to suffice for now or the post would turn into a novel.

Now as far as why I never tried to communicate with my teacher...well I explained that in the fact that I would need to speak a language (Hungarian) fluently to approach him. See, when there are the subtleties of deeper thoughts and feelings involved, mixed with ego, recognizing the ego as you speak, etc. one must be careful with the words they use and watch and change with the moment to keep the ego from flaring up on both sides to go to a defense.

Point is, 90% of us have not mastered that in our native languages. :)

I know I will have people frown (not saying you) in the fact that I have been here 3 years and have not merged into the language.
There is a bit more to that...I will share now quickly for what it is worth...well, its a long story with so many aspects that create the greater whole, and this indeed is what I have been pointing out with communication in general...its really hard to understand where and why someone is doing something and where they are coming from.

We are all unique lego blocks built up from different pieces and colors...we resemble each other on a surface level but the construct is unique...this is created by our experiences which create that perspective, which I mentioned.

So yes, you are right...it occurred to me last night that indeed for them, its easier to bond when they can quickly chit chat about anything and everything...it can be intimidating and somewhat unapproachable otherwise.

This is yet another aspect that I considered when going back to aikido last night.

I wanted to go, yet I realize that the groove is not there, so to speak. I guess I could wait till I move back stateside or somewhere else where I can communicate freely...but I had invested 6 months into the art, and wanted to make sure I could solidify what I already learned at the minimum.

I dont plan on staying in Hungary forever...but you know, back when I lived stateside I said I would always move back to Europe. It took over 9 years to do so.

Of course things change and experiences change what we anticipated what something would be like. Hence the grass is greener on the other side scenario.

The joy is in being, but this is still fresh to me, no matter how old the concept it...it has not come to fully 'bud' per say. :)

So, you do have a point, in the fact that I could grow to be an old man here...why not learn the language...well, to a certain extent...(wont go there, this is a can that has a lot of worms when opened.) Again, we go past just aikido but into every aspect of the culture here. And truth is, in the specific city I live in...its furthest from my spirit of who I am, but yet, in a strange way, an aspect of myself I have to learn about.

Appreciate your posting - and I indeed I do feel privileged that you are communicating with me in a language that is your second language. (I am correct about this am I not?)

I do understand the frustration about language, especially with people who speak english as a second language. It appears that Americans are language snobs. (No, we are just poor at it...never needed it, America is really like the E.U., but with 50 'countries' speaking different dialecs of English...and some can be hard to understand. Ever heard hill billy? No joke, I had some friends from the mountains and it can be hard to understand if your not used to it...well heck, when Im on the phone with various U.K. folks I stuggle to get past some of their accents.)

Point is, the efforts in those that speak English as the second language does not go unnoticed by myself, nor do I take it for granted. :)

Peace

dAlen

p.s. - thanks for the best wishes. :)

dalen7 04-02-2008 06:16 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote: (Post 203004)
Welcome back.
Compliments on recognizing the part that recognizes the ego.
Now get back to training.

Im on it. :)

peace

dAlen

marky musashi 04-16-2008 01:35 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
separating youself from ego is one of the greatest things you can do. once we realise what we accumulate in life, what other think of us, and what our reputation is means nothing the better off we will be. provide and give without expecting anything in return. act like the universe acts, act like your source acts. even after all this time the sun never tells th earth you owe me one, love like that lights up the world.

jennifer paige smith 04-16-2008 09:51 AM

Re: Recognizing the Ego...My time in Aikido
 
This book is available in english..ha-h-ha.

www.eckharttolle.com

I'd say, make friends with your entire situation. And just as a good friend would do, don't judge yourself each step of the way..let it ride and take in your unique circumstance.
BTW, my brother has lived in Helsinki for 6 years and is just getting the hang of the language. He often says,Finnish (Suomen) language is closely related to Hungarian, and they are both very difficult to comprehend.


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