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Phil Ingram 01-02-2010 09:57 PM

My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
For my first Post I wanted to share my thoughts on Aikido.
As a beginner to the art I have found a lot of misinterpretation of people who say the art as not practical has a martial art.
And to be honest I used to be one of them, I could not understand how you could defend yourself with aikido even in my first lesson I was very rigid and strong I did not understand the concept of fluidity
Then my sensei told me just to go with the flow advised me of what was being taught and why we practice this way it made total sense to me, anyone can stand there and be strong and you will not move him
But in a real situation when someone tries to shove you for example if he hits your shoulder you will move right but what if you where not there to take the push the attacker would be overbalanced and you could take him on his fall point, or you could flow with his energy to take him down and pin him, once I understood this concept I understood a little piece of what was being taught to me and left me hungry for more.
To those people that say Aikido is not effective I would say try a few lessons get in to the grove of the art then come back and let us know what you think
If you don’t like it well that’s fair enough but I would tend to think you will enjoy it so much you would take it up, as a fledgling Aikidoka I feel it is down to us to help spread the name of aikido and to answer any questions the best way we can, most people from other arts only see 1 concept to aikido and there is so much more to the art.

In closing I like to think of Aikidoka as swimmers our sea is the constant flow and change of energy that flows around us.

Melchizedek 01-03-2010 04:15 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Phil Ingram wrote: (Post 249421)
For my first Post I wanted to share my thoughts on Aikido.
As a beginner to the art I have found a lot of misinterpretation of people who say the art as not practical has a martial art.
And to be honest I used to be one of them
, I could not understand how you could defend yourself with aikido even in my first lesson I was very rigid and strong I did not understand the concept of fluidity
Then my sensei told me just to go with the flow advised me of what was being taught and why we practice this way it made total sense to me, anyone can stand there and be strong and you will not move him
But in a real situation when someone tries to shove you for example if he hits your shoulder you will move right but what if you where not there to take the push the attacker would be overbalanced and you could take him on his fall point, or you could flow with his energy to take him down and pin him, once I understood this concept I understood a little piece of what was being taught to me and left me hungry for more.
To those people that say Aikido is not effective I would say try a few lessons get in to the grove of the art then come back and let us know what you think
If you don't like it well that's fair enough but I would tend to think you will enjoy it so much you would take it up, as a fledgling Aikidoka I feel it is down to us to help spread the name of aikido and to answer any questions the best way we can, most people from other arts only see 1 concept to aikido and there is so much more to the art.

In closing I like to think of Aikidoka as swimmers our sea is the constant flow and change of energy that flows around us.

Well said 5/5

I hate people that comments w/o knowledge to an Art *tsk*

Shadowfax 01-03-2010 06:02 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
I think Aikido is just one of those things that can't really be explained. It needs to be experienced to be believed.

gdandscompserv 01-03-2010 08:53 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Cherie Cornmesser wrote: (Post 249439)
I think Aikido is just one of those things that can't really be explained. It needs to be experienced to be believed.

Like life itself.:cool:

aikishihan 01-03-2010 10:12 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
My thoughts on Aikido.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Let us practice together, so that I can show you.

Let us train together, so that we can show each other.

In oneness,

lbb 01-03-2010 10:15 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
42.

mathewjgano 01-03-2010 11:15 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 249455)
42.

Oh that's your answer for everything!;)


Hi Phil,
I had a similar experience when I first saw Aikido practice. Some of it looked fake. It wasn't until I started training for a while that I understood a little more about what was happening.
Quote:

In closing I like to think of Aikidoka as swimmers our sea is the constant flow and change of energy that flows around us.
I like that. Thank you for posting it!
Gambatte!
Matt

Walter Martindale 01-03-2010 03:35 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 249455)
42.

But what's the question?
Did Arthur's scrabble game with the human find it, or did the mice ever find their solution?
W

lbb 01-03-2010 04:29 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Walter Martindale wrote: (Post 249471)
But what's the question?

I don't know. Figure that out and we'll start looking for the answer again. :D

C. David Henderson 01-04-2010 10:06 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Oh no; forgot my towel.

NagaBaba 01-04-2010 12:12 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Phil Ingram wrote: (Post 249421)
For my first Post I wanted to share my thoughts on Aikido.
As a beginner to the art I have found a lot of misinterpretation of people who say the art as not practical has a martial art.
.

Hi Phil,

As a beginner, you have no idea what you are talking about.For the moment you can only say : 'Yes, sensei!'. All your intellectual concepts are wrong. I strongly suggest go back to the dojo and train harder. 3 times a day. 20 years. Then come back here and tell us your thoughts on Aikido.

Don't take offence when you read it. :D Aikido taught me to be honest.

thisisnotreal 01-04-2010 12:43 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Szczepan Janczuk wrote: (Post 249577)
Hi Phil,

As a beginner, you have no idea what you are talking about.For the moment you can only say : 'Yes, sensei!'. All your intellectual concepts are wrong. I strongly suggest go back to the dojo and train harder. 3 times a day. 20 years. Then come back here and tell us your thoughts on Aikido.

Don't take offence when you read it. :D Aikido taught me to be honest.

Whoah.

Hi Szczepan,
I am very curious, may i ask 'What are your thoughts on Aikido'? Is there anything specific that you could suggest to Phil given your experience? At what point do you suggest to start trusting your own 'intellectual concepts' and stop suspending your disbelief?
Do you not think a 20 year investment just to find out if its something you want to know or do is a lot to ask for? (My 2 cents)

I'm not sure. ... I may be misreading this. Just trying to be honest.
Take care,
Josh

Eugene Leslie 01-04-2010 05:41 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
I'm a novice. I love Aikido. I have taken some "hard", "external" martial arts. Yes, I too have experienced disbelief...O'Sensei was under 5' tall and a buck 20. Does Aikido require faith to believe? How would O' Sensei fare in the octagon? Does Ki really exist?

Those are silly questions because an accomplished Aikidoka that has applied his or her self has already won the fight before it begins.
The harmony of the universe with oneself, void of ego and unnatural thoughts and acceptance and love. Couple that with the hard work and teachings of Aikido and let the opponent's aggression defeat himself.

There's always someone more stronger, quicker, more technical, etc. etc..
Arnold Schwartenegger's (sp) testicles are just as tender as the next guy's, and his limbs only move and obey the same physical laws of nature as well. (Thanks Arnie).

Conquer fear and you've conquered death. (Gladiator movie rip-off I know, but it's true).

I suggest one read O'Sensei's teachings and look inside yourself along with your Sensei's teachings for answers and not squabble for concrete answers amongst the novices and the spiritual neophytes; (like myself at this point in time).

Can someone direct me to a website or literature that explains the different "styles" of Aikido? I would just like to educate myself more on the subject...

NagaBaba 01-04-2010 06:33 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249614)
Can someone direct me to a website or literature that explains the different "styles" of Aikido? I would just like to educate myself more on the subject...

Magic words in Google: "different styles of Aikido" - so simple :eek:

http://www.google.ca/#hl=fr&source=h...c0699226f8b465

Eugene Leslie 01-04-2010 07:15 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Thank-you. I was hoping for a particular, reveiwed site or book but I guess the whole world wide web will do nicely.

You're arrogant and facetious, sir.


Quote:

Szczepan Janczuk wrote: (Post 249577)
Don't take offence when you read it. :D Aikido taught me to be honest.


NagaBaba 01-04-2010 07:29 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Josh Phillipson wrote: (Post 249580)
Whoah.

Hi Szczepan,
I am very curious, may i ask 'What are your thoughts on Aikido'? Is there anything specific that you could suggest to Phil given your experience? At what point do you suggest to start trusting your own 'intellectual concepts' and stop suspending your disbelief?
Do you not think a 20 year investment just to find out if its something you want to know or do is a lot to ask for? (My 2 cents)

I'm not sure. ... I may be misreading this. Just trying to be honest.
Take care,
Josh

Hi Josh,
More you practice, less you have to say about aikido.If I may paraphrase Arikawa sensei:" don't let intellect stand between you and aikido".
Last few years I'm doing more and more heavy gardening, trying to reconnect with Mother Earth as suggested by Chiba sensei...

NagaBaba 01-04-2010 07:34 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249621)
Thank-you. I was hoping for a particular, reveiwed site or book but I guess the whole world wide web will do nicely.

You're arrogant and facetious, sir.

You are new to this forum, so I hope Jun will forgive you personal attacks. Here we are discussing TOPICS and not the character of forum members. :D

Eugene Leslie 01-04-2010 07:42 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Not a personal attack sir...a factual observation....

"Magic words?"; choking happy face icon?, "so simple"....c'mon now don't play Mr. Innocent. You are what you are; I'm not judging you...
Yes, I agree....... topics....

lbb 01-04-2010 08:23 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Hey, folks, I think we've got a bit of miscommunication here. There may be a bit of a language barrier, but also, I think that some of you are taking Szczepan's remarks as an attack on your intelligence or knowledge or desire to know. I don't think it's quite like that. In particular, I am guessing that the statement "All your intellectual concepts are wrong" might be rephrased as "You cannot rely on your intellectual knowledge at this point", and still capture the essence of what Szczepan is saying.

If I'm right about that, that's a statement I agree with -- and it is not an attack, nor is it in any way that there's something particularly obtuse about the person he's talking to. It's just a statement of fact that aikido is one of those things that can't be grasped intellectually or conceptually, at least not until you have a lot of data points (meaning a lot of mat time) to hang those concepts on. Eugene, you said "I suggest one read O'Sensei's teachings and look inside yourself along with your Sensei's teachings for answers and not squabble for concrete answers amongst the novices and the spiritual neophytes; (like myself at this point in time)." I agree about the squabbling, but strongly disagree that a beginner's time is well spent in a quest for intellectual, conceptual or theoretical answers. Concrete answers are exactly what is called for -- concrete answers to the most elementary and limited questions, like "What will happen if I move my foot this way while attempting to perform this technique on that person?". Those are the data points. I believe in gathering the data points and not trying to grasp the concepts: I feel that if you have the data points, the concepts fall into place when you're ready to understand them. Don't understand the concepts? Go get more data points -- don't read another book or dredge up some esoteric-sounding language to make it sound like you really do see those beautiful clothes that the Emperor is wearing, and that all the cool people can see. Be true to yourself, be honest about your level of understanding, let the understanding come when you are ready for it, rather than trying to hunt it down and capture it. It'll come.

Eugene Leslie 01-04-2010 11:21 PM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
I agree that we should search for answers concerning techniques. I like your data-point method! You're right of course and so is Mr. Janczuk, concerning mat time and dojo training, then come back and talk about it. But give us beginners a break. I was referring to the deeper, unknown aspects that a beginner such as I really have no concept of: the deep questions of belief in Aikido. Does it really "work" in a fight? As Mr. Ingram stated in the beginning of this thread appearances can be deceiving. It looks soft and wimpy but in training one realizes how a proficient practitioner can tweak a technique to the point of deadliness. Only time in training reveals light bulb moments. Thank-you for the insight.
"It'll come." Good advice. If you have time please define "concepts".
As far as language barriers go.....I reserve my comments and I hereby bury the hatchet. Thanks peacemaker.

lbb 01-05-2010 06:19 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249644)
But give us beginners a break. I was referring to the deeper, unknown aspects that a beginner such as I really have no concept of: the deep questions of belief in Aikido.

You just said it yourself: as a beginner, you really have no concept. So...give you a break? What does that even mean? When a beginner in mathematics wants to have a conversation about differential equations -- a subject that he/she lacks the foundational knowledge to understand -- should one "give him/her a break" and have the conversation anyway? Even though it won't be understood and can only lead to confusion? Or is it appropriate instead to direct the beginner towards a beginner's activity, i.e., the acquisition of that foundational knowledge? That, I think, is what Szczepan is trying to do.

(By the way...I don't have any concept either. That's why I'm over here, working on my times tables, rather than trying to chat up the professors about diff eq)

Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249644)
Does it really "work" in a fight?

It depends. What's the "fight"? Who's attacking, why are they attacking, how many are they, what are their skills, are they armed, where is this happening? How do you define "work"? Frame the question, then look for the answer. Better still, frame the question, then ask yourself if it really needs answering. Are you in the habit of fighting on a regular basis?

Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249644)
Only time in training reveals light bulb moments. Thank-you for the insight.
"It'll come." Good advice. If you have time please define "concepts".

Nope. Not gonna do it. I'm just gonna work on my times tables, and I suggest you do the same. The concepts will come to you when you're ready. You do not need to seek them out.

Carsten Möllering 01-05-2010 06:56 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Hi
Quote:

Josh Phillipson wrote: (Post 249580)
At what point do you suggest to start trusting your own 'intellectual concepts' and stop suspending your disbelief?

Do you not think a 20 year investment just to find out if its something you want to know or do is a lot to ask for? (My 2 cents)

But what "intellectual concepts" do exist in aikido???
The only concept I know - after 16 years - is practice practice practice.

An isn't an investment of 20 years like nothing? The shihan we learn from, are practicing for over 40 years now ...

In our environment there is nearly no talking about aikido. Just doing it.

There are no intellectual concepts in aikido.

Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249621)
I was hoping for a particular, reveiwed site or book but I guess the whole world wide web will do nicely.

After a few years you will precicesly know, why there are no particulark, rewviewed sites or books which inform you about the different """styles""" of aikido.

To go on step further please ask yourself, how you yourself define a "style" of aikido?

Example:

My Aikido could be found in such a book on at least five places.

Is the style I am practicing called Aikido?
Or is it called Aikikai Aikido?
Or is it called Yamaguchi Aikido?
Or is it called Endo Aikido?
Or Tissier Aikido?
Or (not now but in a few years maybe) Rott (my teacher) Aikido?
...
Check out the link Szczepan gave you and you will learn a lot about your question.

Quote:

aspects that a beginner such as I really have no concept of: the deep questions of belief in Aikido. Does it really "work" in a fight?
This is very simple: If you don't believe it, don't practice.
Look at your teacher, showing technique, i.e. kihon waza in your dojo. He is answering your question everey time he demonstrates a technique. You will never get more I think.

You don't have to believe in aikido but in your teacher. If not, don't follow him.

Carsten

Linda Eskin 01-05-2010 07:34 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
I am also a beginner. There is a lot of truth in "practice, practice, practice," but I've also found a lot of value in reading. Someday I'll put together a list, but basically find any books that sound interesting to you, that get decent reviews on Amazon, and read them. Get a lot of points of view. It helps me learn to learn - what to look for, questions to keep in mind - if that makes sense. I really like Carol Shifflett's book "Aikido Exercises" for a broad overview and starting point for reading. I'd also highly recommend George Ledyard's whole "Principles of Aiki" DVD series. And there's a lot more out there.

I find the old "it's like peeling an onion" thing to be true. There are layers upon layers upon layers. There's physics, psychology, physiology, misdirection, body language... The layers continuously reveal themselves. Maybe others discover everything on their own on the mat. Personally, it helps me if someone says "look, notice this aspect when you're practicing."

(To borrow the math anaology, it can be helpful, even when one is practicing times tables - or learning to add 2+2 - to have some idea where it's all headed. So knowing that someday you could use math to figure out how much water it takes to fill your swimming pool, even if you'll have no idea how to actually do that math for a long while, is fun. Just to have some idea what lies ahead. "Just sit down and do your homework" never set very well with me.)

As for whether it really works in a fight. Are you planning on getting into a fight? My thinking would be that if anything it could help me avoid a fight. I'm unlikely to get into barroom brawls, but there are lots of kinds of "fights" and avoiding them is usually a good idea. I don't practice Aikido to become a fighter. I would question the priorities of a student, or an art, that is focused on getting better at fighting (except sport, of course - get in a ring and knock each other silly for fun, whatever).

Happy training.

Amir Krause 01-05-2010 09:31 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249614)
Can someone direct me to a website or literature that explains the different "styles" of Aikido? I would just like to educate myself more on the subject...

Quote:

Eugene Leslie wrote: (Post 249621)
Thank-you. I was hoping for a particular, reveiwed site or book but I guess the whole world wide web will do nicely.

While I agree with the suggested answer to most of the questions and beginner opinions on the nature of aikido here - you should train another decade or so.

The issue of "flavours" or "styles" is slightly different - it is not practical for most people to train in multiple styles to the level of creating a real opinon about them. And training for lots of years in your dojo, may improve many things, but not your knowledge of the things done in other Dojos. Thus, this is one of the few areas I guess reading is probably the only realistic possibly for most people (there are the few singulars who did train in multiple styles to high level).

There are many threads on Aikiweb about styles, yet I still think the best thread on Aikido styles on the net is the following:
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17385
note - to read it you might be required you to register to E-budo too.

There are also quite a few good threads here at Aiki-web, such as:
* for starters:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10296

* On organizations (another side of styles):
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13388

* Comparing styles (you can find many more threads about this):
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5404

* Are these styles Aikido? or is evryone outside our box a fraud (some probably are, many are not)
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9508
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13048
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7172

NagaBaba 01-05-2010 09:37 AM

Re: My Own thoughts on Aikido
 
Quote:

Linda Eskin wrote: (Post 249673)
I am also a beginner. There is a lot of truth in "practice, practice, practice," but I've also found a lot of value in reading. .

I'm not sure if you are familiar with a book 'Zen in the Art of Archery ' by Eugen Herrigel? This is perfect example how somebody who didn't understand Japanese language and culture, made up some artificial, wrong concepts and applied it to the Art.

Then he wrote a book. Then the million people read it and adopted his vision. Nobody ever questioned themselves "Is it true what the author wrote?" Because it is written in the book, it was taken for granted. The result is that until today, the image of Kyudo is completely deformed, and a lot of people practice simply wrong stuff.

Exactly same mechanism can be found in aikido. Western pioneers in aikido with small amount of training and with lack understanding of Japanese culture and history wrote few books full of misunderstanding, misconceptions and simply wrong ideas. Then million people read it until today and some of them, without any actual training come to Aikiweb to lecture us what aikido is, and what we have to do to understand it.

What arrogance! Particularly considering that some members of this forum have 30 years or more daily practice on the tatami….

Reading all these books didn't even teach them one basic thing - what the "Etiquette" is in martial environment. They feel safe insulting others, sitting safely in their bedroom.

No, Linda, as you can see, reading books doesn't do any good. In contrary, it creates false certitude "I know something about aikido".


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