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AikiWeb System 09-22-2005 01:53 PM

Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Discuss the article, "Symbols, Metaphors, Change" by "The Mirror" here.

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Mary Eastland 09-29-2005 06:45 AM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Great Article....thank you. As for your last questions I think it depends on the student. I sometimes ask students how they feel after an excercise. For some of them I can see it is meaningful, for others it is painful or tedious to have to think like that when they want to be training. I do it anyway because it is okay for students (me included) to be uncomfortable.

For myself...having to learn to enter into shomen without any excuses was the best thing that ever could have happened to the time I could not have put word to the feelings.
It was important that I just did it. Now I can look back and see why I was uncomfortable.

Just having to do the moves made it so for the first time I could not manipulate or change a situation and for me that was so needed.
Thanks for helping me think about this.

Janet Rosen 09-30-2005 11:21 AM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Thank you, Mary. Pretty much what I hope for is to create questions that get folks thinking...
like you with entering into shomenuchi, much of what I've learned/accomplished on the mat was done first "in the body" and only later could I ponder and begin to articulate it. I think the more we exercise that particular "muscle" too (heheheh--a metaphor), the easier it gets for the somatic feeling and the conscious articulation to communicate in less time and eventually start working together at the same time. Which I suppose would be the goal of the type of training I was describing....see now you are making me think as I write! thank you!

cck 09-30-2005 12:24 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Hi Janet -
I actually read your article, opened a new word doc to write my thoughts, and then abandoned the project 'cause I could not contain myself. Anyway, you did spark a lot of thoughts. I see a lot of things reflected back at me in a physical way through practice. In class yesterday we were working with the concept of "allowing" - yes, sensei taught. I went away with a dissatisfied feeling, which is so unusual and really bugged me. However, I did realize what was wrong. I am a wait-and-see kind of person. I like to mull things over first. I like to know where things are going. If Chris gets an idea about going somewhere or generally making changes to accepted procedures around the house (!), he knows to plant the idea with me about a week in advance. I get comfortable with it, get over my initial resistance to change, and we can get on with it. So just allowing things to happen without a planned end in sight IS VERY HARD FOR ME!!! I'll anticipate, have a plan of attack, know where I want to put uke before he ever gets there (regardless of whether that's where he's on his way to...) I'll be working on this for a while...
Thanks for a very thought-provoking article, Janet!

Janet Rosen 10-02-2005 04:37 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
hmmm...interesting because I tend to see "need to have a planned end" as "preplanning" which to me is the opposite of "wait and see"...?
Wait and see is deeply imbedded in me as a short term (watch and guage) not a long term (procrastinate) way of dealing with the world. On the mat, this phenomenon is PART of the pattern that leads me to an affinity for movement and technique that is timed more for the later phase of an attack.
As uke, it poses a PROBLEM for me, in that it contributes to a certain "behind the beat" restraint as I try to sense where the connected "we" are beginning to move. I don't sense this movement quickly, as I don't react to certain sensory things in the world very quickly (seems to be a processing issue); I seem to need to be able to tell myself "oh ok we are going in that direction now".
This is not the same as needing to know up front what/where the RESULT will be (which is preplanning--which translates in aikido as kihon),

Jeanne Shepard 10-02-2005 07:50 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Enjoyed the article and it gave me alot to think about as we had a seminar this weekend, and the (mostly) featured attack was shomenuchi. It made me think about what the attack means to me, and how I deal with it.

Jeanne :sorry:

Qatana 10-02-2005 08:56 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
I'm not sure I've ever felt 'attacked" in the dojo. Not physically anyway. And not at all in my home dojo, there are too few of us. An "attack" to me is more of an invitation to participate with this Person,a message in which the content and context is delivered int he form of waza, of the interchange between Nage/uke/uke/nage., in some way that we will both end up not having lost anything, including our dignity. If one can be dignified when rolling on the mat laughing!
The only time I ever felt attacked on the mat it was verbal, not physical.

Janet Rosen 10-02-2005 10:15 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"
Jo, to a large degree I agree with you--it takes uke to be holding a weapon for me to percieve myself as actually being attacked. Even with a committed shomenuchi that I know will land if I don't move, on most levels I'm not feeling threatened by my partner and my issues have more to with timing/energy/movement than with percieved threat.
Thanks to all for comments to date; you are all giving me more things to think about too....

cck 10-03-2005 09:51 AM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"

Janet Rosen wrote:
hmmm...interesting because I tend to see "need to have a planned end" as "preplanning" which to me is the opposite of "wait and see"...?

"wait and see" then, might be likened to a lack of commitment because I don't know where it's all going to end up. I don't throw myself 100% into new techniques or working with an unknown uke/nage, because I want to experience them before I can be comfortable with them. And then I want to evaluate the experience to make it fit me. Lack of trust, perhaps? I know this is going somewhere, but not exactly where, so I hedge. Hence, both wait & see and need for planned end (my plan, mind you). And hence, unsatisfying technique.
On the other hand, when I practice a familiar technique I know what is going to happen (or I think I do) and therefore am less apt to hold back.
It's a great way of yanking you out of habitual action and thinking, and as you can tell that specific class sparked a lot of thoughts.

On shomen, delivering the strike can be as much of an educating task as receiving it - my intent is never to actually strike the person; I fully expect to slice through the air where the person once stood. That was one of the first and hardest lessons in trust I had in aikido. That's a strange thing about intent - to be committed, you have to deliver the strike as if you wanted to hit the other person - but that's pretense. So the intent has to be something else - an invite seems a good metaphor, to give nage something to work with.

By the way, I never thought of you as a badger?

Janet Rosen 10-03-2005 02:20 PM

Re: Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror"

Camilla Kieliger wrote:
By the way, I never thought of you as a badger?

LOL! Short, round, low to the ground, generally inoffensive but you don't want to back me into a corner!
Your take on on shomenuchi is interesting. Mine is different: If I intend to cut through my partner, my focus is greater and my ukemi overall seems better. The only times I don't have that intent are when I'm getting sloppy; an honest partner will "call me on it" and if my partner doesn't, well, I can feel the difference anyhow.
My partner should trust that I AM going to slice through him, because what he does is predicated on that intent and energy. And for me, making the cut, the trust is that my partner will take my sincere strike and do something that does not hurt me.

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